Fresh Meat Scandal – ‘Great British’, but from South America and Europe
In 2013, food safety authorities and governments across Europe were overtaken by a food scandal: horsemeat (unsafe) was found in countless beef products. Various horse traders, butchers and food processors (including the Dutch Willy Selden and John F. and the French firm Spankerau) were convicted in criminal cases.
In Great Britain, corruption led to, among other things Installation National Food Crime Unit (NFCU). At the end of last year, the agency set up a large-scale investigation into a new scam called ‘Operation Hawk’. It’s about pre-packaged cut beef that’s labeled British, but comes from South America and Europe. The investigation, which examined around 1.3 million documents, focused on a company that prided itself on supplying a supermarket chain that marketed its products as ‘the best British beef’.
This research was picked up by Farmers magazine Farmer’s WeeklyNFCU was a bit annoyed that it didn’t disclose which supermarket chain was involved and which beef was involved.
This morning the BBC Looking for a related retailer. The BBC approached Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Aldi, Lidl, Co-op, Waitrose, Morrisons, Iceland and Marks & Spencer. Charlotte de Cello, director of Waitrose, added: “We know every farmer that produces our Waitrose beef. At Waitrose, ‘best interests’ and ‘British’ really mean the British. These standards are fundamental to us and will never, ever change.”
The monkey is now out the sleeve, revealing Farmer’s Weekly. The supermarket chain is ‘high end’ supermarket booths. Dubbed the ‘Waitrose of the North’, the chain has branches in Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. There is no investigation into the booths, but the chain says it is cooperating fully with the National Food Crime Squad’s investigation. The supermarket chain is ready to cooperate with the NFCU to settle the case against the meat supplier. There is nothing wrong with the food safety of meat, but there is something about food fraud: deliberately selling a consumer something other than what he thinks he is buying. Andrew QuinnNFCU’s vice president warns anyone who dares to deceive the British public: “We take food fraud very seriously and are committed to protecting consumers.”
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