UK supermarket giant admits selling out of date food

This isn’t best-before dates, which are a guideline: this is use-by dates, which are a food safety requirement.

a-sign-outside-a-branch-of-the-uk-supermarket-chain-co-operative-food-d6m1fgSupermarket giant Co-operative Food has pleaded guilty to stocking food as much as 10 days past its use-by date at a Pangbourne store.

Representatives of the former Somerfield store at The Square, Pangbourne, were at West Berkshire Magistrate’s Court on April 21.

The group, now owned by the Co-op, pleaded guilty to contravening food safety requirements.

The offence related to an unannounced inspection in March, which found a number of food items on the market that were unsafe as use-by dates had expired.

Prosecuting, Sarah Clarke of West Berkshire Council’s legal services, said: “Officers identified 10 items of food that were past their use-by-date.”

She said that two of the items – both soups – were 10 days past the maximum date when they could be safely eaten, and one other was five days out of date.

The court heard that the Co-op has in place procedures and training to identify and check foods that are at the end of their life.

However, when trading standards investigated they found that certain procedures had not been followed, including a crucial close of business check.

Ms Clarke said: “The COB check hadn’t been completed on any day during that week.

“Store colleagues should have completed processes in line with procedures and staff should have raised this to the manager.”