Meat firm fined €16,000 for fake beef labelling

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

FSAI said breaches of meat safety law would 'not be tolerated'
FSAI said breaches of meat safety law would 'not be tolerated'

Related tags Beef Packaging equipment & materials

Ireland's Keelaghan Wholesale Meats has been fined €16,000 for falsely declaring beef imported from Poland, Lithuania and Germany was of Irish origin. 

The meat wholesaler was found guilty of six violations on meat traceability laws enshrined by EU food safety policy. These offences included falsely declaring Irish origin for beef shipped in from Poland, Lithuania and Germany; the application of false Irish slaughter and cutting plant codes used on packaging, as well as possessing and implementing an inadequate beef traceability plan.

Keelaghan Wholesale Meats was fined €16,000 by judge Gráinne Malone, at Navan District Court on Friday 17 June. The company will have also have to lay out an additional €10,000 in legal costs.

Food Standards Agency Ireland (FSAI) brought the case against the meat wholesaler after the regulator ran an investigation alongside Meath County Council. The judge noted that the case was defrauding not only consumers, but the entire beef industry.

Long arm of the law

The verdict has been welcomed by the FSAI CEO Dr Pamela Byrne, who criticised the meat wholesaler for deliberately misleading the consumer with false beef labelling.

Today’s ruling by the courts reinforces that breaches of food law, which are in place to protect consumers’ health and interests, will not be tolerated,” ​said Byrne in a press statement. “Food businesses are obliged by law to ensure that the information they provide to their customers is accurate.​”

Customers must have confidence in their food suppliers and should seek to assure themselves that the food they are purchasing is authentic and that the integrity of the supply chain has not been compromised. Food businesses should ensure that they have robust traceability systems in place and that they carry out their own audits of their suppliers to check that they have the appropriate food safety systems in place and are complying with the law.​”

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