A KOSHER food supplier has been ordered to pay £27,000 by the courts for selling a pot of chopped liver containing a potentially deadly bacteria.

Bosses of Kosher Deli UK Ltd., based on the Claremont Industrial Estate, in Claremont Way, Cricklewood, admitted supplying 1kg of meat contaminated with Listeria to a residential care home in May 2008.

An investigation into the company, lead by Barnet Council's environmental health team, was launched after an 89-year-old care home resident was diagnosed with the Listeriosis disease.

A judge at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday said serious issues at Kosher Deli had been set out in an audit report by the Meat Hygiene Service, but accepted the offence represented a lapse over a short period of time in a business which had been operating for 74 years.

Albert Bendahan, managing director of Kosher Deli, said it was “exasperating” that the case was brought based on one allegation from a care home resident, and insisted the family run company took every precaution to ensure food safety was maintained.

He said: “We continuously test and monitor our products, instruct and train our staff and live up to the requirements and beyond of the Food Standards Agency Guidelines.

“The Learned Judge had remarked at the outset that a trial would have added notably to the already high costs in this matter.

“On the advice of Counsel, who in light of the Judge’s remarks recommended that, solely on the basis of saving costs for the company and the public, the company should enter a guilty plea to the single charge.

“The Judge had jurisdiction to impose an unlimited fine. The £2,000 fine can be nothing but a mere token, compared to the large fines generally issued in these types of cases.”

Listeriosis is a rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection which occurs primarily in newborn babies, elderly people and those with weak immune systems.

A statement from Barnet Council said officers will continue to prosecute anyone who breaches food safety regulations and their duty of care to customers.

It added: “Any commercial outlet selling food has an obligation to make sure their premises are scrupulously clean and any food which comes out of it is fit for consumption.”