Booths supermarket fined £27,500 over listeria-laced meat

A supermarket chain has been fined £27,500 for selling cooked meat contaminated with listeria bacteria and breaching food safety legislation.

At Blackpool Magistrates' Court, retailers Booths admitted 10 counts of breaching food safety laws.

Fylde Council brought the prosecution after a customer of the Lytham branch was infected with listeria.

Booths, which was ordered to pay £47,000 costs, said the infection, in September 2011, was an isolated case.

'Rigorous regime'

The council's environmental health officers found there were high levels of listeria in cooked ox tongue at the store.

They also identified other offences involved the handling of food and items being sold past their sell-by date, which included live oysters and mussels.

Councillor Tommy Threlfall said: "The council's investigation of Booth's revealed some quite shocking examples of ignorance of food safety."

Booths said it took "incredibly seriously" food safety and hygiene.

"[It] keeps a rigorous regime of food safety protocols across all areas of the business," it said, in a statement.

"A single charge, accepted today, relates to an isolated occurrence of the sale of ox tongue that contained unusually high levels of the bacteria listeria."

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