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Suspected illegal meat is seized in Uttoxeter raid

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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PACKAGED meat products have been seized from a private property in Uttoxeter as part of a bid to close down a suspected illegal production operation.

Officers from Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team have revealed that they had raided the town property as part of the crackdown earlier this week.

While the team was in the premises they confiscated high-end meat products such as venison which did not have authorised health stamps.

The team seized hundreds of packed meat items and equipment during three raids which included industrial units in Stafford and over the border in South Derbyshire as well as the town premises.

It has been revealed two people have been arrested and street bailed as a result of the interception.

The county council was supported during the operation by environmental health officers based at Stafford Borough Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, South Derbyshire District Council and Staffordshire Police.

The investigation followed an initial call to Stafford Borough Council by a member of the public.

Mark Winnington, the county council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said the joint operation had proved effective in intercepting illegal meat being distributed in Staffordshire.

The Staffordshire councillor told The Post and Times: “Food fraud damages the local economy, affecting legitimate businesses, jobs and consumers.

“We have joined together to use our resources effectively and fortunately managed to stop illegal activity.

“The products seized have no traceability and do not have approved health stamps.

“If it is found that they have been fraudulently using another business’s stamp this could have put jobs on the line.

“It is in all our interests to make Staffordshire a safer and more prosperous county which is why the operation is important.”

The meat products were seized from the Uttoxeter and South Derbyshire premises with the production equipment, including packaging and labels, from an industrial unit based in Stafford.

It is thought by the team that health stamps from other businesses may have been fraudulently used.

The authority added that initial analysis of test purchased items has shown meat contamination.

The council said that it was unable to reveal the exact location of the premises in Uttoxeter and South Derbyshire due to the ‘ongoing investigation’.

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