A Milton Keynes-based food manufacturer has been fined after admitting to not telling council food officers where his food came from, who he sold it to, and for selling food with out of date labels.
Khalid Rafiq, who trades as MKF Foods Ltd, appeared at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on August 23 and pleaded guilty to five offences under food safety legislation, including the Food Safety Act 1990, the General Food Regulations 2004 and the Food Labelling Regulations 1996.
Mr Rafiq was fined £1,600 and his company £400, with £1,500 costs.
The court heard that an officer had taken a sample of lamb burgers sold under the MKF brand. The officer needed further information about the burger, including the recipe, who made the burgers and who they were sold to. By law food businesses must tell enforcement officers where they obtain food ingredients and to whom they sell their foods.
Despite numerous requests over a lengthy period, Mr Rafiq failed to provide details about the lamb burger and other meat products sold under his brand name. Mr Rafiq had also moved the MKF business out of its original premises at Kiln Farm but had failed to change the address on the food labels in spite of advice from the enforcement officer.
Accurate information about the origin and distribution of food is vital for consumer protection because it allows action to be taken if food products are found to be unsafe.
The recent horsemeat scandal has highlighted the need for food enforcement officers to trace food from farm to fork. Food labels must also say who produces the food. This allows customers and enforcement officers to contact the correct food business if they need to do so.
Head of Milton Keynes Council Regulatory Unit, Karen Ford, said: “Food businesses in Milton Keynes must take record keeping seriously and they must make sure labels are accurate.
“We will take action against food business that do not take advice or co-operate with enforcement officers.”