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food cops confiscate illegal food stores

PUBLISHED: 18:44 12 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:16 05 October 2010

MASSIVE stores of dried fish were seized as part of a crackdown on illegally imported food by town hall environment cops The team started work in January and have worked through until March inspecting wholesalers and retailers who sell imported foods such

MASSIVE stores of dried fish were seized as part of a crackdown on illegally imported food by town hall environment cops

The team started work in January and have worked through until March inspecting wholesalers and retailers who sell imported foods such as dried fish, focussing on retailers with a history of selling illegally imported foods.

The third of a tonne of illegal dried fish was seized from four of the premises inspected on Chapman Street, Stepney and some illegal meat was seized from another business on East India Dock Road.

Throughout the investigation, officers also became aware of a jarred dried fish chutney powder being produced illegally from an unapproved premises in Waltham Forest and being sold across Tower Hamlets.

A total of 843 jars of the chutney powder were seized from six different premises across the borough.

All the products have now been destroyed and the retailers havd had to foot the bill.

Principal Environmental Health Officer Ben Milligan said: "Retailers should be warned that Products of Animal Origin do not comply with the law if they do not have the appropriate identification marking on them. No retailers have been prosecuted as a result of these investigations this time, but they were warned that in the future non compliant products will be seized by Environmental Health and destroyed at the business' cost, and prosecution will follow."

Businesses must not place a product of animal origin, which has been handled in an establishment requiring approval, on the market unless it has an identification mark; even when a product is already marked, but its packaging and/or wrapping is removed, a new mark must be applied to the product.

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