A Norwich shop owner has been fined £1,000 for selling bacon nearly two weeks past its use-by date which posed “an immediate danger to public health”.

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Rajiharan Arulampalm was also found selling six packets of out-of-date ham when Trading Standards officers visited the Parmenter Shopper in Eaton in August 2011 following complaints from customers.

He is now selling the Parmenter Road shop, less than a year after taking over, because he says he cannot deal with the stress of running his own business.

Magistrates in Norwich were yesterday told Trading Standards had visited the shop in July after customers reported their concerns, and wrote a letter to Arulampalm, of Middleton Road, Norwich.

They returned on August 24, when they found 16 out-of-date items including a packet of bacon with a use-by date of August 11, three packs of breaded ham six days out of date and three packs of ham two days out of date.

Trading Standards prosecutor Catherine Girvan told Norwich magistrates that prosecutions were only brought where there could be “serious medical consequences” and highly-perishable items posed “an immediate danger to public health”.

A visit in October found no items out of date, but a packet of ham with a use-by of December 15 was found in a visit on December 19.

She added: “Trading Standards has concerns that these premises really are not being run with proper regard to food safety.”

Arulampalm, 37, pleaded guilty to three charges of selling food after its use-by date, and asked for the December offence to be taken into consideration.

He admitted being in breach of an 18-month suspended sentence dating to October 2010 for possession of a cloned credit card. Ipswich Crown Court will be notified of the offences.

Anthony Hucklesby, mitigating, said Arulampalm had mistakenly thought selling out-of-date food was permitted with a ‘reduced to clear’ sticker, but accepted the shop’s date-checking procedures were “inadequate”.

He said Arulampalm was selling the shop, adding: “He quite simply can’t deal with the stress of his own business. He was finding it financially difficult anyway.”

Arulampalm was fined £1,000 and will pay £873.33 in prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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