Morrisons has been fined £55,000 after it sold a mouldy pork pie from the deli counter at its Elvetham Heath store in Fleet, Hampshire.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 when it appeared before Basingstoke Magistrates Court on 25 May 2017.
Morrisons was fined a total of £55,000, as well as costs of £14,396.22 and a £120 victim surcharge. The fine was reduced from £90,000 due to the submission of an early guilty plea.
The retailer was taken to court by Hart District Council following a complaint from a customer, who discovered the filling of the pork pie was contaminated with mould.
Following the complaint, Environmental Health officer Nicola Ramsey visited the store and found a further mouldy pork pie being offered for sale in a refrigerated display cabinet, which was above the legal temperature for the safe storage of high-risk food.
Ramsey made subsequent visits to support the store in improving its compliance with food safety legislation and found further breaches, including a food handler wearing dirty gloves while handling open foods.
“It was disappointing that Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc did not heed previous warnings regarding temperature control and general hygiene standards, which ultimately resulted in mouldy food being sold to a vulnerable member of the public,” Ramsey said.
“Prosecution is a last resort but was necessary given the severity of the offences.”
Morrisons said it was sorry about these issues, which happened more than 12 months ago at its store in Fleet.
“Our new management have made improvements that have restored our Food Hygiene Rating to give the highest rating available,” the retailer said in a statement following the court hearing.