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London butcher hit with £40k fine for selling poor quality chicken, following successful prosecution

A warrant is out for the arrest of a butcher after prosecutors at Barking and Dagenham Council secured a conviction over the attempted sale of poor-quality chicken to customers.

 

Following an inspection by Barking and Dagenham Council enforcement officers in August 2018 of Barking Halal Meat & Fish, officers discovered 500kg of untraceable chicken. While officers were investigating the rest of the business, the manager, Mr Azar Irshad, quickly removed an unknown quantity of poultry.

As the investigation continued, intelligence showed that Mr Irshad was suspected of obtaining rejected supermarket chicken, which was understood to have been destined for pet food, and was reselling it for human consumption for approximately a year.

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During the inspection of the butchers located on 14 East Street Barking, Barking enforcement officers were subject to attempted bribes, which were rejected.

Fake receipts were also provided stating that he had received 1000kg of chicken in an attempt to legitimise the supply chain. The company on the receipts was contacted and satisfied officers that they had not supplied Barking Halal with the chicken, nor were they aware of Mr Irshad.

Due to Mr Irshad missing a number of court hearings and because of the Covid pandemic, the case was only heard at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 14 September, where the defendant was found guilty in his absence.

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

In addition, a warrant has been put out for Mr Irshad's arrest since February 2020.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, Barking & Dagenham's Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, 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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