A supermarket owner has been fined £2,600 for a string of hygiene breaches.
Abdulai Shapo, formerly the owner of Africa Supermarket and the current owner of Yambo’s Food, both on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, was also ordered to pay costs of £90 at Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday in relation to 10 separate offences.
The prosecution was taken by Belfast City Council following a number of visits to the two premises between December 15, 2009 and October 13, 2010 which uncovered serious breaches of food hygiene legislation.
As well as selling food which had been put under detention by environmental health officers for further investigation, Mr Shapo also failed to put in place and document a food safety management system.
On two occasions the owner sold food that was rancid — turkey gizzards and cow skin — and on another occasion, mutton, hens’ eggs and turkey wings, which weren’t of the quality demanded by the purchaser.
He was also unable to provide documentation regarding a goat carcass which he claimed a farmer had killed in a field and sold to him. The carcass was unfit for human consumption and was seized by council officers and later condemned by a judge.
While operating Africa Supermarket Mr Shapo failed to keep clean and disinfect all fittings and equipment with which food came into contact.
On March 22, 2010, an inspection found there was no running hot water at the only basin at Yambo’s Food. Twice Mr Shapo failed to comply with hygiene improvement notices.
Belfast City Council advised the court that while conditions in the premises had improved, further work was still required.
A council spokesperson said: “Due to the extreme nature of these breaches, council did at one stage consider a prohibition order in this case which would have allowed for the business to be closed down, wholly or partly, if there is deemed to be a risk to public health.
“However, council officers are now working with Mr Shapo to improve food safety standards at his premises and we are not seeking any such order at this time.”