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US meat processor reaches mislabelling settlement

By Carina Perkins , 21-Aug-2012

Texas meat processor John Soules Foods has reached a settlement with US food safety chiefs after a three-year investigation over mislabelling.

Under the agreement, the government will not bring any criminal, civil or administrative action against the company as long as it adopts procedures to ensure that there is no further violation of food safety laws and pays $392,000 to reimburse the costs of the investigation.

The investigation, which was carried out by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, had revealed that, in late 2006 and early 2007, John Soules Foods failed to change the label on boxes of beef trimmings, which had not frozen properly and were therefore sold to an independent meat broker as pet food. The broker had then sold the meat on to another broker as product fit for human consumption and some of it was subsequently sold to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

There were no reported ill effects from the mislabelled meat and the Settlement Agreement acknowledged that John Soules Foods had cooperated fully with the investigation into the allegations.

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