Tesco Stores Limited has been fined £7.5 million at Birmingham Magistrates Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to selling food which was past its ‘use by’ date in three of its Birmingham stores.

Birmingham City Council brought the prosecution under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 after inspections by Environmental Health officers found stores in Bournville, Rubery and the city centre, selling out-of-date food on several occasions.

Tesco Stores Ltd – which has its Registered Office in Tesco House, Shire Park, Kestrel Way Welwyn Garden City – pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offences across the three stores, which totalled 67 separate items, at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 21 September 2020.

The supermarket chain was ordered to pay a fine of £7,560,000 and £95,500 costs, as well as a £170 victim surcharge.

Three Tesco stores in Birmingham (not pictured) were fined £7.5 million for selling out-of-date food items Adam Yosef
Three Tesco stores in Birmingham (not pictured) were fined £7.5 million for selling out-of-date food items

The first incident was at Tesco Express, 165 Linden Road, Bournville, which officers visited on 17 June 2015 after receiving a complaint from a member of the public – and found six items on display beyond their use by date.

Following discussions between the city council and Tesco, officers were invited back to do another check on 12 April 2016 – when officers found various items on display including own-brand pizza, doughballs, soup, pork belly slices, potato salad, trifle and flavoured milk, out of date for between 17, 4, 3, 2 and 1 days.

Environmental health officers received a separate complaint on 25 May 2017 and visited the Tesco Metro store at 2042-2052 Bristol Road South, Rubery on 1 June 2017 where they found 25 items displayed for sale beyond their ‘use by’ date – including own-brand scotch eggs, Quiche Lorraine, and Little Dish (children’s meals) Chicken and Veg Risotto and Pasta Bolognaise.

On visiting the third store – Tesco Express in Carrs Lane, in the city centre – on 2 June 2017, own-brand Falafel and Houmous Wraps, Grapes and Strawberries, and Berry Medley pots were on display past their ‘use by’ date – with grapes having visible mould.

A Tesco Metro store in Rubery had own brand scotch eggs and other items on display past their use-by dateTesco
A Tesco Metro store in Rubery had own brand scotch eggs and other items on display past their use-by date

Mark Croxford, Head of Environmental Health for Birmingham City Council, said: “Supermarkets have a duty of care to ensure the food and drink they display for sale are in date and therefore safe to consume – however visits by our officers and the public complaints show this is not always the case.

“The purpose of the use-by date is to protect the health of the consumer. The manufacturers put the date on their products to guarantee the food is safe and ignoring this date completely undermines consumer safety.

“There were numerous missed opportunities to check the dates on these products and remove them from display – and the fact incidents were found on several occasions, in different stores and over 14 months, is a major concern.

“This case offers a warning to all retailers to ensure their stock is in date and that if found to be breaching these regulations we will take action – as we have successfully done against one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains.”


The full list of out-to-date items found at three Tesco stores:


12/04/2016 – Tesco Express, 165 Linden Road

DATE OF RECOVERY                           ITEM                                                              USE BY DATE

12/4/2016

9 PIZZA EXPRESS CLASSIC  GIUSEPPE 305 PIZZAS

11/4/2016

                                

12/4/2016

5 PIZZA EXPRESS MARGHERITA 245 G PIZZAS

11/4/2016

                               

12/4/2016

PIZZA EXPRESS THE  ORIGINAL DOUGH BALLS WITH GARLIC BUTTER DIP 95 G

9/4/2016

                              

12/4/2016

4 PIZZA EXPRESS THE ORIGINAL DOUGH BALLS WITH GARLIC BUTTER DIP 95 G

8/4/2016

                              

12/4/2016

TESCO CARROT AND CORIANDER SOUP 600 G CONTAINER

26/3/2016

                             

12/4/2016

TESCO BRITISH PORK BELLY SLICES 0.55 KG PACK

10/4/2016

                            

12/4/2016

3 TESCO BRITISH PORK BELLY SLICES 0.55 KG PACKS

11/4/2016

                            

12/4/2016

TESCO POTATO SALAD 300G CONTAINER

9/4/2016

                              

12/4/2016

2 CADBURY LAYERS OF JOY CHOCOLATE TRIFLE 2 X 90 G PACKS

10/4/2016

                            

12/4/2016

2 TESCO STRAWBERRY FLAVOURED MILK 1 LITRE CARTONS

11/4/2016

                         

1/06/2017 – Tesco Metro, Bristol Road South Store (Rubery)

DATE OF INSPECTION        ITEM                                                                                USE BY DATE

1/6/17

8 GINSTERS ORIGINAL CORNISH PASTIES 284G

20/5/17

1/6/17

1 GINSTERS ORIGINAL CORNISH PASTY 284G

21/5/17

1/6/17

11 GINSTERS ORIGINAL CORNISH PASTIES 284G

31/5/17

1/6/17

1 TESCO PINK SLAW 140G

23/5/17

1/6/17

1 TESCO 2 SCOTCH EGGS 227G

28/5/17

1/6/17

1 TESCO QUICHE LORRAINE 160G

29/5/17

1/6/17

1 LITTLE DISH CHICKEN AND VEG RISOTTO 200G

30/5/17

1/6/17

1 LITTLE DISH PASTA BOLOGNESE 200 G

31/5/17

2/06/2017 – Tesco Express Carrs Lane   

INSPECTION                            ITEM                                                                                            USE BY DATE

2/6/17

9 TESCO FALAFEL & HUMOUS WRAPS

1/6/17

2/6/17

2 TESCO BERRY MEDLEY 240G

1/6/17

2/6/17

1 TESCO GRAPES AND STRAWBERRIES 125G

30/5/17

2/6/17

1 TESCO GRAPES & STRAWBERRIES 125 G

31/5/17

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