A company has been fined £1,000 for selling apricots at Marks and Spencer with just under 14g less fruit in the jar than legally allowed.

The breach amounts to roughly the weight of four 1p coins.

Baselica Limited, trading as Fine Italian Foods, was convicted of two weights and measures breaches last week.

The company found itself before Teesside magistrates after a jar of Mariangela Prunotto brand ‘Apricot in Syrup’, sold at the Marks and Spencer Foodhall in Guisborough was labelled as having a drained weight of 400g on its packaging.

But checks on November 21, 2017, found the actual quantity of the goods to be just 374.1g.

UK weights and measures regulations allow for a “tolerable negative error” on pre-packed food.

A product stated to weigh 400g is allowed an error of 3% which would mean a drained weight of 388g would still be legal.

But it meant the apricots on sale at the Guisborough M&S store were still outside the legal margin for error.

The case first appeared at the court in August after Redcar and Cleveland Council prosecuted the weights and measures breach.

The company also faced a second charge for failing to measure the product contained in each package or to carry out checks using a rigorous system of sampling and tests between November 11, 2017 and November 21, 2017.

The company, which is based at the High Street, Sevenoaks, Kent, says it prides itself on the quality of its products.

The firm’s website says: “Fine Italian Foods is an award winning importer, which was founded in 1975 to bring to the UK the best food Italy had to offer.

“We were twice nominated for the best importer of the year at the Great Taste Awards.”

But on October 3 Baselica was convicted of both charges at the Teesside court.

They were fined a total of £1,000 and were also ordered to pay £1,518 in costs and charges.

A Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesman said: “The public has the right to know they are buying what is advertised and our dedicated Trading Standards officers will do all they can to ensure the customer is never shortchanged.

“This court decision should serve as a reminder to other companies that they must ensure labelling and quantity rules are adhered to.”

Baselica Limited has been contacted but a spokesman said the company would prefer not to add any comment.

© 2018 Tees Info

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