A KIDDERMINSTER woman was fined for selling pre-packed meats which weighed less than the label stated.

JMF Meats director, Joanne Foran, of Oxbow Way, appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday last week following an investigation by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) Trading Standards.

The 43-year-old pleaded guilty to charges under the Weights and Measures Act 1985 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Ms Foran and the company were each fined £330 and ordered to pay costs of £696 and a victim surcharge of £15.

The company, which traded as Clover Meats in Oxford Street Kidderminster, has since ceased trading, although Ms Foran, as the company director at the time of the offences, will be liable to pay all of the fines and costs imposed by the court.

As a result of a consumer complaint the shop was visited by a Trading Standards Officer in November, 2013. Checks were carried out on a selection of pre-packed meats displayed for sale, which revealed weights of meat significantly less than their labelled weight.

It was found that metal trays and packaging had been included in the weighting process and that increased the overall weight and, therefore price, of the packs. The steel tray and packaging was then removed when the product was purchased.

The trays and packaging weighed anything up to 1 kg and caused short weights of between 27 per cent and 36 per cent, which averaged out at £3.11 per pack sold.

Joint committee chairman of WRS, Conservative councillor Lucy Hodgson, said: “Our Trading Standards officers work hard to ensure the everyday shopper is not being duped or misled and knows exactly what they are putting in their baskets.

"This case is an example of this hard work coming to fruition.”