Chicken from Barking Halal Meat & Fish

Barking butcher issued with suspended sentence in court

A butcher who was found guilty in court in 2021 for selling poor quality chicken has been issued with a suspended prison sentence and told he can’t work in the food industry anymore.

During a routine inspection of Barking Halal Meat & Fish in August 2019, officers from Barking and Dagenham Council found a number of breaches of food hygiene rules which presented a risk to customers and their health.

The owner of the business, Mr Azar Irshad was initially summoned to court in September 2021, however he failed to attend. In his absence, the judge fined the company £40,000 plus £5,075 in costs to be paid to Barking and Dagenham Council and a Victim Surcharge of £170. In addition, a warrant had been issued for Mr Irshad’s arrest since February 2020.

During the inspection in 2018, council officers were offered bribes and fake receipts were also provided in an attempt to legitimise the supply chain.

Police finally caught up with Mr Irshad and he attended Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday 24 March where he was sentenced to prison for 39 weeks suspended for 18 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £2,400. He also received a Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from working in the food industry.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “I’m really pleased that we have finally reached a conclusion on this case and the owner has received the punishment he deserves.

“By selling poor quality chicken, he was putting the health of his customers at risk and also committing a criminal offence. As a council, we won’t stand for this and we will ensure action is taken.”