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Food rip-off revealed [print version]

Pork products do not always come from where the producer says. Image BlackRIv via Pixabay.

At the end of March Farmers Weekly journalist Abi Kay revealed that British farmers were being ripped off by an industrial-scale country of origin fraud whereby a food manufacturer was passing off huge quantities of foreign pork as British.

And these criminal practices have been going on for two decades. In addition, the processor has been accused by former employees of “washing” hams that are visibly off or mixing rotting pork with fresh product for further processing. Meat processed by the company ended up in ready meals and other produce sold in stores including Tesco, Asda, Coop, Morrisons and Marks and Spencer.

The method utilised by this criminal network would involve the processor buying a relatively small volume of British meat from a retailer-approved supplier, then using the traceability information from this delivery for all the pork products it made in that week – with most of the meat coming from elsewhere in the world.

• See more at www.cpbml.org.uk.