Probe launched into UK beef fraud

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UK authorities have launched an investigation into a potential food fraud involving beef falsely labelled as British but which actually came from South America and Europe.

According to the BBC, the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) is investigating the claims that the unnamed pre-packed sliced beef product, which has been removed from supermarket shelves, is wrongly labelled.

Andrew Quinn, deputy chief of the NFCU, said it was not a food safety issue but a matter of food fraud.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Quinn said: “The retailer was notified on the same day that we took action against the food business suspected of the fraud and immediately removed all affected products from their shelves.

“The retailer continues to work closely and cooperatively with the NFCU investigation to progress the case against the supplier.”

Several high-street supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Iceland and Marks & Spencer have denied stocking the meat, insisting that they take great care to track their supply sources and take great pride in stocking purely British beef.

The investigation was actually made public in December by the Food Standards Agency, reporting that it was looking into the directors of a company which sold large volumes of pre-packed meat to UK supermarket retailer “who pride themselves on only selling British products”.

However, back then it did not disclose details of the probe, including what type of meat was in question.


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Written by

Glenn Wickman