Sunday, 24 Oct 2021

Butcher sold chicken rejected by supermarkets which was destined for pet food

A butcher sold chicken of poor quality which had been rejected by supermarkets for a year, inspectors discovered.

Shop manager Azar Irshad, from Barking Halal Meat and Fish in east London, was found guilty for attempting to sell chicken originally destined for pet food to unsuspecting customers.

Council enforcement officers visited the property after an investigation indicated Irshad was suspected to have obtained the rejected chicken.

Upon their inspection in August 2018, officers confiscated 500kg of untraceable chicken from the butcher.

They also said Irshad quickly disposed of an unknown quantity of poultry as they arrived.

Barking and Dagenham Council claimed its inspectors were offered fines – which were declined – and fake receipts for the chicken were provided.

The receipts stated a firm had supplied Irshad with 1,000kg of chicken, but when enforcement officers contacted the company they said they had never supplied him with meat.

The butcher was suspected to have sold the rancid carcasses for human consumption for about a year.

Delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic meant Irshad wasn’t due in court until September 14.

The case was heard at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court, where the defendant was found guilty in his absence.

The council said a warrant was put out for his arrest in February 2020.

The court fined the butcher £40,000 plus £5,075 costs and a £170 victim surcharge, which must be paid within 28 days.

The council’s enforcement and community safety chief, councillor Margaret Mullane, said: ‘This has been a long-fought case and I am pleased to see that this business owner has been found guilty and fined a huge amount of money.

‘Not only were they committing a criminal offence, their actions may have also put the health of their customers at risk and that is simply something the council will not stand for.’

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