Jail threat for Mansfield shopkeeper who sold out of date food

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A woman who sold out-of-date food from her Sutton shop just four days after a conviction for selling counterfeit cigarettes, now faces jail.

Elita Zvingule showed “a flagrant disregard for the health of members of the public” when inspectors found 32 “highly-perishable items” for sale at her shop Saulite, on Wood Street.

“She knew these items were out of date but she continued to sell them. There was a high risk of food poisoning to the end consumer,” said Avi Wadhawa, prosecuting.

Zvingule told inspectors she bought too much over Christmas and was trying to sell it when they checked the store, on January 11, 2016.

Ms Wadhawa said the starting point would be nine months in prison.

Zvingule, 54, of Newgate Lane, Mansfield, admitted contravening EU food safety rules when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The court heard she received an eight week sentence, suspended for 12 months, for selling counterfeit cigarettes four days before.

In July 2012 she was cautioned for selling 22 perishable items, and in February 2013, inspectors found items with no sell-by-dates at the store, but no action was taken.

Nicola Thorpe, mitigating, said Zvingule was in ill-health and not in the shop full-time.

“She no longer has the shop and now only runs a cafe on Stockwell Gate, in Mansfield, where she has taken greater care to employ people who understand sell-by dates.”

Zvingule was bailed to Nottingham Crown Court on February 23, as the offence was so serious it exceeded the magistrates’ sentencing powers.