Bar flouts food safety laws by selling cheaper version of spirit

Boots Barred sign
Boots Barred sign
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A bar which substituted the herbal liqueur Jagermeister with a cheaper, less potent one, has been fined £2,250.

A probe was launched after a complaint to Lancashire Trading Standards about a spirit purchased at the Boots Barred Sports Bar in Hesketh Bank, near Preston.

The bar was owned by David Dempster and Shaun Hartley through two limited companies - Astute Trading Limited, based on Blackpool Road, Newton, near Preston, and a now defunct firm.

The designated premises supervisor Giuseppe Fontana, 35, of South Street, Lytham St Annes, pleaded guilty alongside Astute Trading, to selling a substituted spirit, contrary to food safety laws, after a probe found the spirit they sold was consistent with a cheaper one containing less alcohol.

The firm must pay £2,250 costs while Fontana must pay a £225 fine and £150 costs, Judge Stuart Baker ruled.

Preston Crown Court heard on September 9, 2015, two officers attended the bar.

Prosecuting, David Traynor said: “ The barman retrieved a bottle of Jagermeister from the fridge behind the bar, which bore the normal Jagermeister label indicating the alcohol by volume was 35 per cent. The officers purchased three 50ml samples.

“Those samples were analysed. It appeared to be dissimilar to Jagermeister and similar to a cheaper product called Messerschmitt, and instead of the declared volume of 35 per cent it was a little over 20 per cent.”

The bar was found to have a customer account with a cash and carry store under its former name ‘Capricci Bar and Grill’, which was in use in September 2015 by Fontana.

Invoices show from May to November 2015, 28 bottles of Messerschmidt and one bottle of Jagermeister were bought.

Invoices from Marston’s House, another supplier, in the name of Astute Leisure, showed 17 bottles of Messerschmidt and one bottle of Jagermeister were supplied.

In interview Fontana “could not explain how the Messerschmitt ended up in a Jagermeister bottle”, but said the bottle may have been one that was in the restaurant from before he took over responsibility.