Illegal meat, cheese and other food seized

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Food

200kg of food was seized
200kg of food was seized
Authorities have seized 200kg of food, including meat, cheese, fish, honey and apples, identified as illegally imported into this country from Eastern Europe.

The items were discovered in the back of a van stopped at the Crick weighbridge off Junction 18 of the M1 during an operation involving the police and national agencies as well as Daventry District Council (DDC). 

Environmental health officers seized and incinerated the food after no health certificates could be provided to prove they had been produced or imported in line with EU requirements.

The Mercedes Sprinter was stopped on October 22 as part of Operation Trivium III – an enforcement exercise aimed at overseas drivers. The crackdown involves Leicestershire Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and DDC.

It was discovered the vehicle, which was more than one tonne overweight, was carrying about 200 boxes and bags of items from Moldova to Moldovan nationals living in Dublin.

Fined £500

The driver and co-driver – both from Moldova – were fined £500 by the police for driving licence and insurance irregularities.

The vehicle and its contents had not been inspected or declared at UK customs in Dover or at any other border crossing on its journey from Eastern Europe.

Officers from Daventry District Council’s Environmental Health Improvement Team inspected the van and found food items which should have been declared on entry to the EU. The contents of the van were then detained under The Food Safety Act to allow for further investigation. 

Lead officer Graham Wilson, senior environment health officer Simon Watson and student environment health officer Mel Glithero inspected all the food detained.

Bird flu

“Diseases such as foot and mouth disease and bird flu can be brought into this country via meat products, while fruit and vegetables may carry pests that can infect plants and vegetables in the UK,”​ said councillor Mike Warren, health and housing porfolio holder on DDC.

“This can have a devastating effect on livestock, crops and the environment so this is a very pleasing result and a credit to the hard work and diligence of the officers.”

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