17 September 2001
Food Agency targets poultry fraud

By Alistair Driver

THE Food Standards Agency has unveiled plans to stamp out the fraudulent sale of poultry unfit for human consumption.

Under the proposals, poultry meat deemed unfit for the food chain will have to be stained, bringing the industry in line with the red meat sector.

A seven-point action plan will be considered by the agency board at an open meeting in Belfast on Wednesday (19 September).

Agency chairman Sir John Krebs said: “There are already strict controls in place, but these need to be tightened and loopholes need to be closed.”

The plan also proposes that the agency works with the meat industry to develop a code of practice on animal by-products.

It recommends improvements to traceability and quality assurance within the catering sector, particularly in hospitals and schools.

In addition, the agency wants a Waste Food Task Force to examine measures needed to control the annual disposal of 754,000 tonnes of poultry waste.

The move comes on the back of several recent investigations into the illegal diversion of unfit poultry meat into the food chain.

Seven people were convicted of conspiracy to defraud by selling meat for human consumption when it was destined for pet food last December.

The case involved more than 1000 tonnes of poultry by-products.

In March this year, a joint investigation by Amber Valley Council, the police and agency officials led to the seizure of 20 tonnes of unfit poultry meat.