A Northampton butcher has been fined over £20,000 for selling meat unfit for human consumption.
Peter Salmons, who trades from The Meating Place, Broadway East, Abington, pleaded guilty to eight serious food safety offences at Wellingborough Magistrates Court on January 25.
Inspectors found he was selling meat that had past its use-by-date, meat that was unfit for human consumption and meat not adequately labelled or identified.
His produce was deemed "a serious risk to public health" and he was ordered to pay a total of £20,323 in fines, as well as over £3,400 in legal fees.
But Mr Salmons says the meat was never on sale and was only in cold storage.
This is the second time Mr Salmons has been fined for selling hazardous meat after he was caught doing the same thing by Northamptonshire's Trading Standards team in 2016 at The Meating Place in Billing Garden Village. He was fined £14,000.
The premises at Billing Garden Village has since reopened under new management and is not associated with Mr Salmons.
Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “Thanks to the stringent checks of our environmental health team, risks to the public have thankfully been avoided and the perpetrator convicted for his offences.
“We hope that this sends a warning to other food premises that we take such offences very seriously and will take action against any that fail in their duty to their customers.”
Mr Salmons has hit back at the inspection rating and says they will be challenging the borough council's report.
He said: "We had no intention of ever selling that meat. It was in cold storage and not on sale.
"We did not deliberately sell mean unfit for human consumption. We wouldn't even contemplate it.
"We fully expect to get a five-out-of-five on our next inspection."
For information and advice about food safety for your premises please contact the environmental health team at email@example.com