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Only One Arraignment Over Malta's Defrosted Poultry Swindle

by 5m Editor
4 April 2006, at 12:00am

MALTA - Only one butcher has been arraigned in court for selling defrosted chicken as fresh, despite a call by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to “keep up pressure on those who infringe the law” by thawing frozen products. Health Minister Louis Deguara announced in parliament that during 2005, seven butchers were warned by health inspectors for thawing frozen poultry meat and selling it as fresh. But in six cases out of seven, the thawed products were merely sealed by inspectors and “voluntarily” handed over to the health department. Only one of these culprits has been arraigned in court for “meddling with the health inspector’s seals.” In December, MaltaToday revealed that Egon Samler, an official from the FAO, had quoted Malta’s health department saying that imported frozen meat is “sometimes thawed and sold as fresh.” Thawed frozen products pose serious health risks to consumers deceived in to thinking that they are buying fresh products. Basic food hygiene demands that thawed products are cooked immediately: other wise consumers can be exposed to food poisoning. In the wake of the avian flu menace, consumers had flocked back to trusted local brands. But according to industry sources, the selling of thawed imported products as fresh Maltese produce eroded these gains. <i>Source: Malta Today</i>

5m Editor