Owners of Alex Morrison shop fined £2,000 for selling out of date food

The offending pie. Click on image to enlarge.
The offending pie. Click on image to enlarge.

The company that owns Lerwick shop Alex Morrisons was fined a total of £2,000 on Wednesday for selling food past its use-by date.

Timberlake Enterprises faced 12 food hygiene charges at Lerwick Sheriff Court from September and December last year at the store at Browns Buildings in Freefield.

The worst case was recorded on 26th September when a macaroni pie, which was unfit for human consumption because of mould, was discovered in a display cabinet.

All other charges related to a quantity of pies, sausage rolls, fruit trifles and packets of cheese, which were all found to be a day past their use-by date when food hygiene inspectors visited the premises on 2nd December.

The court heard the case was brought after previous advice by the environmental health department had “been ignored”, and that a simple stock rotation of perishable goods had not been carried out.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said environmental health inspectors follow up a policy of enforcement which is “hierarchal”, and that a report to the fiscal’s office was a “last resort”.

“This company refused to engage with advice, verbal warnings and written warnings which include hygiene improvement notices,” he said. He added it was worth noting there had been 2,000 cases of food poisoning in 2006 alone in Scotland.

Defence solicitor Linda Knarston said the mouldy macaroni pie had become lodged at the back of its cabinet and been overlooked.

She said the other items were going to be removed by the shop manager prior to an inspection visit by environmental health officials, however he had become pre-occupied with a delivery and other business and had not managed to take the items away in time.

Sheriff Philip Mann said he had been “pleased to see” the shop had since taken on board advice concerning food safety.
He fined the business £500 for the macaroni pie offence and £1,500 for the remaining charges.


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