Beef fraud: FSA’s National Food Crime Unit makes ‘unannounced visit’ to Derbyshire farm

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) National Food Crime Unit, made an unannounced visit to a premises linked to a Derbyshire farm where alleged food fraud is taking place.

It comes just a couple of weeks after Booths was revealed to be selling meat sourced from South America and Europe, and labelled as ‘best British beef’.

Working with Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards, the FSA board met in Manchester on Wednesday discuss the farm in question, which they were exploring as a live criminal investigation.

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During the course of the Board meeting, the chief executive updated the board on Operation Hawk, a criminal investigation, and the Retained EU Law Bill.

The board then discussed substantive papers relating to the Achieving Business Compliance (ABC) programme and Precision Breeding.

“Criminal investigations of this nature take time to go through evidence and arrive at an informed outcome including potential prosecutions. We have to act in a way that doesn’t jeopardise any future legal proceedings,” chief executive of the FSA, Emily Miles said.

“The FSA advised retailers last year to check their cooked meat suppliers. When the FSA asks businesses to look at their supply chains we expect them to apply extra due diligence. We don’t give out these alerts without a reason.

“The FSA will continue to take action when we need to, including criminal investigations. As the national regulator, we are the last line of defence.”

Miles added: “At a time when cost pressures and other challenges mean the risks of food fraud might be increasing it is really important that everyone involved in the food system is extra vigilant.”

However, the report did not divulge anymore information. Grocery Gazette has contacted the FSA for comment.



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