Meat wholesaler ‘committed a fraud against the industry’

Keelaghan Wholesale Meats convicted of breaches to food safety legislation

A meat wholesaler which was prosecuted for labelling foreign beef as Irish has been told it had committed a fraud against the wider meat industry.

A meat wholesaler which was prosecuted for labelling foreign beef as Irish has been told it had committed a fraud against the wider meat industry.

 

A meat wholesaler which was prosecuted for labelling foreign beef as Irish has been told it had committed a fraud against the wider meat industry.

Keelaghan Wholesale Meats, of Ashbourne Industrial Estate in Co Meath, was convicted on six charges of breaches to food safety legislation.

They included falsely declaring Irish origin for beef imported from Poland, Lithuania and Germany.

The company was also found guilty of applying false Irish slaughter and cutting plant codes to packaging labels and of having an inadequate traceability plan for the products. It was fined a total of €16,000.

The District Court judge told the firm that this was a very serious matter and constituted a fraud not only on the consumer, but on the entire industry.

FSAI statement

In a statement following the court ruling on Friday, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), which had investigated the company in conjunction with Meath County Council, welcomed the decision.

The FSAI said the ruling was important for consumer confidence in the system.

“Today’s ruling by the courts reinforces that breaches of food law which are in place to protect consumers’ health and interests will not be tolerated,” said chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne.

“Food businesses are obliged by law to ensure that the information they provide to their customers is accurate.”

She said the industry must ensure robust traceability systems are in place and carry out audits of suppliers to ensure they have appropriate food safety mechanisms.