SELLING suspect supplements led to a pharmacist and his firm being handed a prescription for court fines and costs reaching almost £33,000.
Zulfkar Ahmad (65) - also known as Zulfkar Akram - pleaded guilty to five charges laid against him and Ultralife Nutrition Limited under the neglect of a director provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 when he appeared before Sheffield Crown Court.
Ahmad and the company he was sole director of at the time, Ultralife Nutrition Limited, Wembley Works, Hemmingfield Road, Wombwell, Barnsley, were ordered to pay fines and costs of £32,770 for breaching food laws and selling food supplements with unclear allergen ingredients and misleading company name and address which could have impeded a recall of their products.
The court heard that the company had ceased trading since trading standards officers from Barnsley Council’s Regulatory Services had visited in March 2018 and found problems with its food supplement labelling, prompting a national recall of its products.
At the hearing, the judge told the company its actions had fallen below acceptable standards and that it had not paid adequate attention to the law.
The judge reminded the defendant of the tragic potential consequence of providing inaccurate information on allergens.
The charges brought related to failure to properly declare allergenic ingredients including nuts - and providing labels with incorrect and misleading name and address details.
Ahmad and Ultralife Nutrition Limited had failed to carry out reasonable checks to make sure their labels were compliant with UK labelling law and clearly identify to their customers what allergens were contained in them, the court was told.
Further charges were brought by Barnsley Council when it was discovered that some of the product lines sold by Ultralife Nutrition from Wembley works misleadingly showed the names of dissolved companies and addresses in Buckinghamshire and Huddersfield.
This would have seriously delayed traceability if problems had arisen with the products and prevented customer correspondence and complaints being received by the company, the court was told.
The misleading products discovered were marketed under the brand name Ultralife.