Tesco has been fined £175,000 for selling out of date food - but what happened?

Monday, 5th October 2020, 3:52 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 3:52 pm
Over 30 garlic baguettes were found to be out of date (Photo: Shutterstock)
Over 30 garlic baguettes were found to be out of date (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tesco has been found guilty of failing to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene, resulting in a hefty fine for the supermarket.

In 2017, Trading Standards officers found over 40 out of date products at a Tesco superstore in Bracknell, Berkshire. During the inspection, officers found 30 garlic baguettes that were three days out of date, and two yoghurts that were 15 days past their use by date.

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Tesco documents also showed that many of the food safety checks carried out by the supermarket were actually done incorrectly.

Tesco was convicted at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 25 September, after admitting to failing to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene.

The supermarket giant was ordered to pay out £160,000 in fines, and a further £7,756.50 in costs.

Binfield-with-Warfield councillor John Harrison said, “The level of penalty indicates how seriously the court takes matters of this nature.

“It is imperative that food business operators have in place good systems and that they are robustly implemented to prevent these things happening.

“Having food on your shelves up to 15 days past its use-by date is completely unacceptable.”

What has Tesco said?

A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said, “We accept that in 2017, a very small number of products were found to be out of date at our Bracknell North Superstore.

“On discovery, we took immediate action to remove them. We have robust procedures in place to ensure that products on our shelves are within their use-by dates.

“This incident does not reflect the high standards we expect in Tesco stores.”