Meat fraud

An alleged meat fraud has come to light and the Food Standards Agency is investigating it. Moreover, it had made public this fraud in December 2022 and now they have also disclosed the company name. It is Loscoe Chilled Foods. What is this fraud? Was it an innocent mistake?

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The meat fraud under investigation in the UK

FSA has reported an alleged meat fraud in the UK. It deals with the fact that meat that actually came from South America and Europe had the wrong labeled of it having originated in Britain. But it is also highly likely that it was an innocent mistake of mislabeling.

The National Food Crime Unit, part of the government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), are thoroughly investigating this matter. And the supply of this pre-packed sliced meat and deli products was to the UK retailer Booths in 2021. Booths is a privately owned grocery chain that has its head quarters in the north west part of England.

Meat fraud
Booths (Source: Prolific North)

When the retailer’s name emerged, Booths immediately clarified that it is not under investigation but is supporting the concerned authorities in it. The retailer also revealed that it has removed all the concerned suspected products from its shop and also halted all trading business with the company.

Loscoe Chilled Foods

It has also now come to light that the firm under investigation in this suspected meat fraud is Loscoe Chilled Foods. It has its plant at Derbyshire in the English Midlands. A spokesperson of the company told Just Food:

“We are currently supporting the Food Standards Agency with an investigation into an isolated issue concerning sliced corned beef supplied to a single customer in March 2021. This is not a food safety issue and there is no suggestion that any other customers are affected. Nonetheless, we take this very seriously and are fully supporting the FSA with its work.”

Meat fraud
Loscoe chilled foods (Source: Loscoe Chilled foods)

Read here: Olive oil: health benefits, uses, and olive oil frauds!

It was in 1895 that the company came into existence. And it has two sites covering nearly 102,000 sq ft. Making claims of quality products and great services on its website, the company says:

“Our core range of cooked ham and bacon products have seen the business grow to supplying over 100 metric tonnes of pork per week into the UK’s food chain.”

It adds:

“Working with an extensive range of ready meal and convenience food manufacturers our products are consumed by hundreds of thousands of hungry Britons each day.”

FSA statement on the matter

Andrew Quinn, the NFCU’s deputy head told Just Food last week:

“The FSA’s National Food Crime Unit is investigating how one UK retailer was supplied with pre-packed sliced meat and deli products labelled as British when they were in fact sourced from South America and Europe.”

Meat fraud
FSA (Source: Wikipedia)

“The retailer was notified on the same day that we took action against the food business suspected of the fraud and immediately removed all affected products from their shelves. The retailer continues to work closely and cooperatively with the NFCU investigation to progress the case against the supplier. This is not a food safety issue but a matter of food fraud.”

The operation has the code name of Operation Hawk.