Horsemeat-Gate (III): British Suppliers Under Close Scrutiny Too

Police raided two British meat companies on Tuesday in their first action – jointly with food standards officials – into food fraud and the horsemeat scandal.

Officers entered Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and Farmbox Meats Ltd near Aberystwyth in Wales, as they investigated the circumstances in which horsemeat was sold as beef “for kebabs and burgers”.

The Food Standards Agency said in a statement it believed Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse supplied horse carcasses to Farmbox Meats.

“The FSA has suspended operations at both these plants. Both West Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys police have entered the premises with the FSA. The FSA has detained all meat found and seized paperwork, including customer lists from the two companies.”

On Tuesday night the main entrance to the Todmorden abattoir, on a hillside above the town in West Yorkshire, was blocked by a tractor. Two people who appeared to be guarding the entrance refused to answer questions, and insisted journalists could not enter the grounds of the abattoir. Nearby farmers also refused to comment.

Andrew Rhodes, the FSA’s director of operations, said he had ordered an audit of all abattoirs processing horses in Britain after this issue first arose last month. “I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers. I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue.”

The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, said: “This is absolutely shocking. It’s totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horsemeat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity.”

Peter Boddy, the owner of the abattoir, said he will co-operate with FSA officers, denying they had “raided” his Todmorden premises. He said: “It was not a raid – they are welcome to visit whenever they want, they just wanted to see my records, which I will be showing them.”

He added that he does slaughter horses at his plant and that the meat is sold in Britain. One of the company’s websites states that he has been “involved in agriculture and the meat trade for over 50 years”.

More on this topic in the original article available HERE.

Related Posts:

Horsemeat-Gate (II): No Fraud Committed in Romanian Abattoirs. Horsemeat Was Horsemeat

Horsemeat-Gate (I): Findus Nordic to Sue France’s Comigel (AFP)

Making a Horse Out Of Beef Labels: A One-Horse Affair European Lasagna

About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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