Morrisons supermarket firm denies selling several food items past use by date at Preston Docks store

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Unsafe food - including a mushroom pate a week past its use by date - was allegedly placed for sale on the shelves of a supermarket giant's Preston store.

WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC appeared before magistrates today to answer two charges brought under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 after a Lancashire County Council Trading Standards probe at its Mariner's Way store at Preston Docks - said in court to be one of the company's 'top five branches'.

Morrisons, Preston Docks

Morrisons, Preston Docks

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Food producers and manufacturers have a legal obligation to include either a best before or use-by date on their food.

Supermarkets and retailers can legally sell produce that has passed its best before date as it is usually safe to eat, though the flavour and texture may change over time.

But food that has passed its use-by date, as alleged in this case, is deemed not safe to eat.

The Bradford based company faces two counts of selling food past it's use by date, and which was thereby unsafe, dating back to December 2017.

The firm is accused of having a pork, stuffing and apple sauce sandwich for sale on the shelves on December 5, 2017 - when it was already a day past its use by date.

Two weeks later, on December 19, the same supermarket placed for sale a string of other goods that were allegedly past their use by dates - including mushroom pate, which was a week out of date, and sushi and a Greek yoghurt that were both five days out of date.

The charge also reflects Bernard Matthews Sweet Chilli Turkey Pieces and white chocolate flavoured milk that were allegedly three days past their use by date, Cadbury's Caramel Pots of Joy which were two days past the date, and a Müller Corner Vanilla Chocolate Balls yoghurt that was a day out of date.

Mike Atkins, representing Morrisons, entered not guilty pleas to both counts on the firm's behalf.

A trial has been listed for July 8 at Blackpool Magistrates' Court.

A Morrisons spokesman said: "We wouldn't comment as it's an ongoing case".

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