Past health risks from contaminated meat, says watchdog

2 months ago 7

Woman looking astatine  nutrient   successful  counterImage source, Getty Images

Consumers whitethorn successful the past person been astatine hazard from contaminated meat, the UK's nutrient watchdog has admitted.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is investigating allegations a rogue nutrient supplier falsely labelled overseas pork arsenic British, and mixed rotting pork with caller products for processing.

Farmers Weekly, which archetypal reported the story, besides claimed e-coli and listeria paperwork was falsified.

The FSA said determination were nary "current concerns" astir nutrient connected the market.

But its main enforcement Emily Miles told the BBC's Today programme it was "possible" radical had been astatine hazard from contaminated nutrient successful the past.

The FSA started its archetypal probe astir mislabelling of products successful August 2021 and seized much than six cardinal documents, which it said are present being gone through.

"The nutrient information allegations person been overmuch much caller and we're pursuing those up. We went to the premises past week and made 3 arrests and seized millions much documents," Ms Miles said.

She said it fell to section authorities to modulate nutrient processors and that the FSA was the "last enactment of defence for peculiarly superior allegations".

"What's meant to hap is that retailers and manufacturers, who are liable for ensuring nutrient is safe, person to beryllium vigilant and bash their ain audits and sampling.

"The FSA is not connected the crushed the full clip astatine all, successful information we enactment connected intelligence. As soon arsenic we got intelligence, we acted," Ms Miles said.

Farmers Weekly, which said aggregate sources had said it was communal to premix rotting pork with caller goods for further processing, besides reported claims that nutrient was "sometimes thawed retired connected the mill floor".

Deputy exertion Abi Kay told Today: "Most concerningly, 2 employees said the paperwork which would prime up bacteria similar listeria and e-coli, was falsified.

"That is nary joke, listeria and e-coli tin termination people."

Ms Kay besides explained however the alleged fraud worked by buying a "relatively tiny measurement of British meat" from an approved supplier.

"Then they would usage the traceability accusation from this transportation for each the products it made successful that week with the bulk coming successful from elsewhere successful the world.

"One root adjacent said they were 100% assured that each the retailers the institution it supplied had been victims of country-of-origin fraud."

Farmers Weekly believed this was not a one-off and claimed to person grounds this went overmuch further than the 1 concern presently nether probe and raised questions astir the audit process.

"In this mill erstwhile the auditors visited, they would amusement up unannounced, but they had a definite magnitude of clip betwixt signing successful to the premises and being allowed onto the mill floor.

"In that abbreviated abstraction of clip a substance connection would spell retired and each the unit would determination immoderate fishy products onto lorries, the loading bay oregon a trolley and propulsion it circular 1 broadside of the mill portion auditors and absorption were connected the other.

"That is however ridiculous this is," she added.

Ms Miles admitted the FSA needed to look astatine the audit process and whether it could beryllium "tightened up".

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