Kepak fined £6,000 after admitting breach of food hygiene laws

A MAJOR meat supplier has been fined £6,000 after the fat content of mince on sale in Cambridgeshire supermarkets was wrongly described.

Kepak UK, in Preston, admitted food hygiene and trade description breaches during a hearing before Huntingdon magistrates.

The court heard that Trading Standards officers tested packs of mince bought at two Lidl stores and discovered fat content higher than labelled. 'Extra lean' mince, which should have had a fat content of 7%, contained up to 16.3% fat.

The TSOs pointed out that the error could have major implications for people with medical conditions such as diabetes. In mitigation it was said that Kepak's contract with Lidl called for the mince to be at 7% - plus or minus 3%. It was added that Kepak had not been responsible for the label.

Passing sentence, magistrates told the firm: "The public has an expectation that the product they buy is what it says it is on the box."

Kepak was fined £4,000 with £2,000 costs. Similar charges were bought against Lidl. The hearing was adjourned for a trial in August.