Morrisons fined £55,000 over mouldy pies at Fleet store
Supermarket chain Morrisons has been fined £55,000 for food hygiene offences, including selling mouldy pork pies.
Inspectors also found staff at the store in Fleet, Hampshire were handling bread while wearing dirty uniforms.
The firm pleaded guilty to four offences under food safety and hygiene regulations, at a hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.
The supermarket apologised and said it had improved food hygiene.
The case arose after a customer found a pie contaminated with blue mould three hours after he bought it in February 2016, the council said.
Two days later, a council inspector found high-risk food being stored at up to 12.5C (54.5F), above the legal maximum of 8C (46.4F).
Environmental health officer Nicola Ramsey said: “The chiller was next to a hot cabinet with a warm air vent blowing down on it.
“The food may have been above the legal temperature for weeks, months or years.”
The cabinet itself had been working properly, Ms Ramsey said.
She said Morrisons had been warned about the unit at previous inspections in 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Ms Ramsey warned that open chillers often “battle with the hot air outside”, with the temperature of food affected by its position.
Inspectors also found a member of staff handling bread while wearing a dirty jacket, of the kind worn while loading lorries and handling waste.
Morrisons was fined a total of £55,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,396.
A spokeswoman for Morrisons said: “We are sorry about these issues that happened more than 12 months ago at our store in Fleet.
“Our new management team have made improvements that have restored our food hygiene rating to five, the highest rating available.”