Council successfully prosecutes butchers
Monday 2 December: The council has successfully prosecuted a butchers in Hayes for selling lamb mince that contained beef.
Masha Allah Food Centre in Station Road and its director were given fines and costs totalling £3,224 at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Monday 18 November.
The council prosecuted the shop for selling lamb mince, which is not of the substance demanded under the Food Safety Act 1990, and for falsely describing food in a way that is likely to mislead as to its nature, substance or quality.
Council officers visited the premises on 28 December 2018 after receiving a complaint. They discovered minced meat labelled as lamb mince, but subsequent tests found it to contain 30 per cent beef. A further sample of lamb mince, taken on 18 February 2019, revealed it was 65 per cent beef.
Appearing in Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on 18 November 2019, the owner, Ethem Cagin, aged 47, pleaded guilty to all charges under the Food Safety Act 1990 on behalf of himself and Dervish Supermarket Ltd, the company that owns Masha Allah Food Centre.
The court sentenced both Cagin individually and as the owner of the business. They were fined £600 each for the offences in December last year and £507 each for the offences in February. They were also ordered to pay £445 each towards the council's prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Cllr Douglas Mills, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Community, Commerce and Regeneration, said: "Our environmental health officers have been very diligent in holding this butchers to account, in what was a blatant breach of trust with regard to their customers. This was particularly disrespectful of their customers who cannot eat beef for religious or cultural reasons. We are glad the courts have recognised the seriousness of the situation with these convictions and hope that this serves as a warning to other businesses to act legally, morally and responsibly."