The supermarket chain Booths is denying that there are any food hygiene concerns at its flagship store in Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire, despite being accused of more than 20 breaches in a recent court case. The supermarket chain Booths has been fined £27,500 after it pleaded guilty to breaching food safety regulations.
The company, which has its head office in Preston, is being prosecuted by Fylde Borough Council over allegations relating to hygiene standards for certain foods sold at the Lytham store, which include:
- Polish meat
- Cured beef
- Sunblush tomatoes
- Cous cous
- Seafood salad
- Fish (including haddock, kippers, cod loin and smoked cod)
- Shellfish cockles
- Clams and mussels
- Live oysters
There are also three allegations relating to an ox tongue infected with listeria which was sold to a customer, as well as accusations concerning food safety management training and the sell-by dates of products.
Commenting on the visit to the Lytham store, Fylde Council’s cabinet member for environment and partnerships, Councillor Tommy Threlfall said:
“The council’s investigation of Booths revealed some quite shocking examples of ignorance of food safety. The ox tongue turned out to be tip of the iceberg as we discovered that fresh mussels and oysters were being managed beyond the shelf-life policy.”
The EH Booths group, which has around 28 stores in the North and has a yearly revenue of £280 million, is denying the allegations made against the Lytham store and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The case, originally heard at Blackpool Magistrates Court, will be adjourned for a few months until August, when more details are likely to emerge.
The investigation was launched after a customer at the store was infected with listeria, but this was later found to have been caused by one of Booths’ suppliers.
Booths has been fined £27,500 for the breaches, and it has confirmed that steps are being taken to address the issues raised. This may mean checking the source of food products more carefully, reviewing the chain’s food safety management system or investing in better food hygiene training for staff members.