Retailers are being targeted by a fake Food Standards Agency (FSA) letter which demands payment for alleged breaches of food safety regulations.

The bogus letter accuses retailers of having sold food unfit for human consumption on at least six occasions.

It then demands a penalty charge of £1,000 to be paid to a fictitious solicitor, ‘E SENA and Co’.

The FSA is advising businesses to ignore the demands and report the letters to the police. A spokesman said: “The FSA is not the national enforcement authority for food law and would not be sending any such letters demanding payment.”