Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trader Blasts Fine for Yoghurt

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trader Blasts Fine for Yoghurt

Article excerpt

A trader was fined pounds 1,000 for an out of date yoghurt in the same court as shop staff selling underage booze to children were ordered to pay just pounds 250.

Three people were hauled before the courts as part of a crackdown on underage drinking and smoking in Newcastle.

But while they escaped with fines of pounds 250 each, businessman Mohammed Razaq was hit with pounds 1,000 for a pounds 1 pound pack of yoghurt 12 days past its use-by date on the same day at Gosforth Magistrates.

Mr Razaq, a director of Kans and Kandy, in Two Ball Lonnen, Newcastle, said it was an innocent mistake and the fine was excessive compared to those for traders selling booze to under-18s.

Mr Razaq said: "I think anyone who was in court would think the fine was over the top. I saw far more serious cases in court before my case and they were dealt with much more leniently.

"The magistrates said it was because it was yoghurt that it was viewed seriously but I think pounds 1,000 is excessive.

"Mistakes happen, it was not done on purpose. Do you think I would risk a pounds 1,000 fine for some yoghurts worth a pound? I would have thrown them out if I had known."

Mr Razaq admitted breaching food labelling regulations and magistrates in Gosforth fined him pounds 1,000 plus pounds 125 costs after saying there could have been potential health problems caused by the out-of-date yoghurts.

Mr Razaq said: "The confusion arose because my interpretation was that anything that was past its best before date was allowed to be sold as long as it was reduced and labelled.

"Since then we have trained all the staff to check the chilled cabinets daily and we will make sure it doesn't happen again."

In the same court Mary Lloyd, of The Roman Way, Newcastle, was fined pounds 250 plus costs after pleading guilty to selling cigarettes to a 13-year-old girl. A similar charge against her husband, Eric, was withdrawn at Gosforth Magistrates.

The offence took place at West Denton News in Newcastle, which Mrs Lloyd runs with her husband. …

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