Major frozen fish fraud uncovered in Sevilla

Food alert: Out-of-date fish seizes by guardia Civil

Seafood unfit for human consumption seized by Guardia Civil. Credit:

The Guardia Civil has recently intercepted a significant amount of fish products with falsified best-before dates, possibly intended for the Sevilla fair.

This incident occurred recently in a warehouse operated by a local business in Alcala de Guadaira, Sevilla. Employees were caught in the act of changing labels on frozen fish, pushing forward the best-before dates by several years.

Illegal relabelling exposed

During the operation, led by the Guardia Civil’s environmental arm, SEPRONA, more than four and a half tonnes of seafood, including crabs, lobsters, blue whiting, squid, and whitebait, were found.

Inspectors discovered pallets of frozen cod loins, originally marked with a June 2022 expiry, that had been relabelled to indicate they were good until 2026. This led to a thorough search of the premises, unveiling multiple products with similarly tampered expiration dates.

The products were inspected and declared unfit for consumption by public health veterinarians from Alcala de Guadaira, stated the official report from Sevilla authorities.

Health risks and legal actions

The seized items were subsequently sealed and left in the warehouse, awaiting disposal by an authorised company. Investigations later revealed that the company had knowingly purchased these out-of-date products.

Currently, six individuals are under investigation for alleged document falsification and offences against public health, with further inquiries potentially implicating additional suspects.

Support for this significant operation came from the Agrarian and Fisheries Management Agency (AGAPA) of the Government of Andalucia, a traceability technician from the Sevilla fishing service, and a public health veterinarian, highlighting a collaborative effort to safeguard public health, particularly ahead of the busy Sevilla Fair 2024.

With the fair on the horizon, the discovery has prevented potentially hazardous food from entering the market place, underscoring the importance of vigilant food safety measures to protect the public.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.