News item

Court fine after beefburgers found to contain chicken

Horse or beef burger?

 A food manufacturer has been fined £40,000 after it was found to have supplied beef burgers that contained chicken.

Birmingham-based food manufacturer King Fry Meat Products Limited and a director of the business, Andrew Sergio, pleaded guilty to offences brought under the Food Safety Act for supplying four separate samples of beef burgers which were found to be `not of the substance demanded by the customer’.

All of the samples were described as containing only beef and no other meat, but analysis showed they contained up to 60 per cent chicken and/or turkey, which are potentially cheaper cuts.

The issue first came to light when Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers took a sample of the meat as part of the wider horse meat investigation last year.

They tested a `Premium Gold Beef Burger’ manufactured by King Fry which was described as containing 90 per cent beef. The sample was taken from a cafe in Alfreton which was unaware of the false claim.

As part of the Trading Standards investigation it was discovered that King Fry Meat Products Limited was also responsible for a further three samples of adulterated beef burgers which had been discovered by South Tyneside Council at a wholesalers in its area.

King Fry Meat Products Limited and director Andrew Sergio were also ordered to pay £1,260 in costs following the case at Derby Magistrates Court on Thursday 20 March.

Derbyshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Ellie Wilcox said: “It is really important to consumers that they know what they are eating and also that they are getting what they have paid for. This manufacturer failed on both counts in this case.

“We want Derbyshire residents to be confident that the food they buy is what they think it is, and this large fine sends out a clear message to other firms that legal action will be taken if they fall below these standards.”

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DATE: 25 March 2014