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Barking butchers fined over £40k for selling chicken meant to be pet food

The chicken was rejected by supermarkets and was going to be turned into pet food (Credit: Barking and Dagenham Council)

A butchers shop in Barking has been fined more than £40,000 for selling poor quality chicken. 

Barking Halal Meat and Fish, based in East Street, sold rejected supermarket chicken, which was going to be turned into pet food, for around a year. 

Council officers first discovered 500kg of untraceable chicken during an inspection of the site in August 2018. 

While they investigated the rest of the business, the manager Azar Irshad quickly removed an unknown amount of poultry from the store. 

The inspectors were also offered bribes and shown fake receipts suggesting the meat had been sold by a legitimate supplier. 

Officers contacted the company listed on the receipts and confirmed it had not sold the butchers the chicken. 

Irshad fled the area and a warrant has been out for his arrest since February 2020. 

A defendant was found guilty in his absence at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 14 September. 

The court fined the company £40,000 plus £5,075 costs and a £170 victim surcharge which must be paid within 28 days. 

The case had been delayed because Irshad missed a number of hearings and because of the Covid pandemic. 

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “This has been a long-fought case and I am pleased to see that this business owner has been found guilty and fined a huge amount of money.

“Not only were they committing a criminal offence, their actions may have also put the health of their customers at risk and that is simply something the council will not stand for.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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