A FOOD retailer selling meat in Newport city centre has received a scathing review after a food hygiene inspection.

A Newport City Council environmental health officer visited Bucovina at 119 Commercial Street on February 12 following a complaint processed by the National Food Crime Unit.

Among other things, the crime unit alleged Bucovina was buying produce from unregistered sources and importing poultry products from abroad.

During the visit, the health officer also completed a partial food hygiene inspection which was due within the next three months.

Staff could not find invoices for five cellophane-wrapped poultry carcasses and told the officer they had been imported from Romania for “personal consumption” - despite four of the carcasses being on display.

Staff said the products had been delivered that morning by “two men in a white van” and would be taken home to eat.

“No information could be provided about where they had come from, who imported them, which port they came into the UK through and who delivered them, and as such they were voluntarily surrendered,” the officer said.

The source of the poultry is still being investigated.

The business must ensure food handlers are trained and produce a set of permanent procedures by April 7 and has been warned failure to comply is an offence.

The inspection also found there was damaged packaging in the freezer and no separation of raw and ready-to-eat foods in the chest freezer, while staff did not wear protective equipment around open food.

There was also evidence of smoking in the rear kitchen and cobwebs under shelves.

The council officer noted three other companies were registered at the address and asked for details on the relationships between them.

Bucovina was given a food hygiene rating of one, the second lowest rating, meaning “major improvement” is necessary.

The store’s owner, Ciprian-Constantin Grosu, says he was on holiday in France at the time of the inspection.

He told the Argus a previous employee returned to the shop and could not find the necessary documents as it was his first day back.