Trading Standards Spearheads Investigation After Pork and Beef Proteins Are Discovered In Chicken.
Date: 11th March 2003
Formal investigations have been launched against persistent offenders by Trading Standards Services, following repeated quality failings in the description of meat content and the labelling of ingredients.
Over the last three years, Trading Standards have been carrying out extensive sampling and analysis of catering chicken breast meat products - with disturbing results. Many of the frozen imported chicken breast meat products have been found to contain pork and beef proteins, despite being labelled 'halal'. Understandably this has caused grave concern in ethnic communities who rely on the honesty of such labelling.
Steve Butterworth, the Trading Standards Institute Lead Officer for Food matters said:
'These matters are of concern to everyone who eats chicken. Consumers are being misled by other meat proteins being put into these products. It illustrates the importance of Trading Standards officers being able to properly check the integrity of the food descriptions to protect both consumers and wholesalers from unscrupulous manufacturers'
DNA testing of products previously found by the authorities in Eire to contain undeclared animal derived collagen has been repeated, resulting in further adverse results and confirmation of misdescriptions.
Under food safety laws, four distributors of these products have been prosecuted in the last five years and investigations are under way following a further national sampling exercise by twenty Food Authorities in the UK and Northern Ireland.
Trading Standards Officers are acting in partnership with the Food Standards Agency to tackle these continuing problems, by establishing closer liaison with the Dutch Food authorities to ensure that the worst offenders are targeted. The European Commission began monitoring the position in June 2002 and is likely to review the matter in the light of these results.
Notes to editor
1. The issues relating to these products were highlighted recently on the BBC1 programme 'The Food Police', which followed an investigation into one of the problem brands.
2. A TSI spokesperson is available for interview; please contact the Press Office to arrange a time.
3. Images showing an example of the imported chicken boxes are available on request
About the Trading Standards Institute
The Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.
Our purpose is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of informing consumers, encouraging honest businesses and targeting rogue traders.
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