prosecution (2)

11419833068?profile=RESIZE_710xButcher issued with suspended sentence in court.

A butcher who was found guilty in court in 2021 for selling poor quality chicken has been issued with a suspended prison sentence and told he can’t work in the food industry anymore.

During a routine inspection of Barking Halal Meat & Fish in August 2019, officers from Barking and Dagenham Council found a number of breaches of food hygiene rules which presented a risk to customers and their health.

The owner of the business, Mr Azar Irshad was initially summoned to court in September 2021, however he failed to attend. In his absence, the judge fined the company £40,000 plus £5,075 in costs to be paid to Barking and Dagenham Council and a Victim Surcharge of £170. In addition, a warrant had been issued for Mr Irshad’s arrest since February 2020.

During the inspection in 2018, council officers were offered bribes and fake receipts were also provided in an attempt to legitimise the supply chain.

Police finally caught up with Mr Irshad and he attended Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday 24 March where he was sentenced to prison for 39 weeks suspended for 18 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £2,400. He also received a Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from working in the food industry.

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On 11 August, the environmental protection service of the Spanish civil guard SEPRONA announced the seizure of 45 tons of illegally treated tuna fish. Four people were investigated and face possible criminal penalties of up to four years in prison for endangering public health, as well as administrative sanctions. The investigation has so far uncovered three companies and three fishing vessels involved in the fraudulent scheme.

Investigators found that frozen tuna only suitable for canning had been illegally treated with substances that enhance the colour and then been diverted to the market to be sold as fresh fish. This treatment can pose a serious public health risk associated with allergic reactions to histamine.

The investigation was coordinated by EUROPOL under the OPSON VII operation, in collaboration with the European Commission and other Member States, which was previously reported on the Food Authenticity Network in May 2018.

Criminal investigations are ongoing.

For more information on this case including the European Commission's contribution and information on other successful outcomes for EU coordinated cases.

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