Six years after a UK egg production company was fined £3 million for being involved in “significant mislabelling issues”, a new food crime report has revealed that a “large scale investigation of another company for similar offences” is on-going.
The revelation is contained in the poultry and egg section of a 60-page report from the UK’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU).
Releasing its first assessment report since being set up in the wake of the “horsegate” scandal, NFCU commented that while there is no intelligence in the reporting period which points to poultry as a specific area of fraud concern, the situation is different for eggs.
“Fraud in relation to eggs has historically proved a notable issue,” it is stated, followed by the additional comment that “given ongoing concerns” eggs is assessed as an area of “heightened vulnerability”.
The report then highlighted an egg fraud case from 2010, concerning an investigation which involved “significant mislabelling issues”.
“This involved the upgrading of egg class to improve profit margins, customers being misled as to the eggs’ geographic origin and free-range or organic status and the extension of durability dates,” it is stated.
“This prosecution resulted in a three-year custodial sentence for fraudulent accounting, and a £3 million asset forfeiture which demonstrates the financial rewards from this kind of fraud.”
This section then concluded with the revelation: “There is an on-going, large scale investigation of another company for similar offences.”
Access full NFCU report