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Swedes eat 70 tonnes of fake beef

Published: 05 Jan 2013 13:58 GMT+01:00

The fake beef was imported to Sweden over a two-year-period and sold in grocery stores, regional newspaper Nya Werlmands Tidningen (NWT) reports.

It was Tomas Narving of food wholesaler Svensk Cater who first discovered the scam.

He received a complaint from a client over meat labelled as Argentinian tenderloin.

"When we examined the meat we found traces of syringes," said Narving.

The National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) confirmed that the "tenderloin filets" were in fact pork cuts from fully grown pigs that had been dyed pink to resemble beef.

The companies CKA Chark, Heat och Barterinvest which imported the fake meat to Sweden were reported to the police.

A criminal investigation is currently underway.

Out of the estimated 95.5 tons of fake beef, about 70 have already been sold. That equals 350,000 tenderloin steaks weighing 200 grams each.

The meat was imported from Hungary and then sold to wholesalers in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Lithuania, according to Narving.

It was labelled as Argentinian, Hungarian and Italian beef tenderloin.

"People should not eat meat that is mislabelled and that contains banned colouring agents," said Britt Carlsson of the Environmental Department (Miljöförvaltningen) in Karlstad in west central Sweden.

"As far as I know the Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) does not even approve of it being used as animal fodder."

The Karlstad municipality is now considering burning the three tons of fake Hungarian beef discovered in the region.

In December several municipalities sent out staff members to grocery stores to search for fake fillets.

"As a consumer it can be hard to discover whether a piece of meat is real or not, especially if it is used as a pizza topping or in a gorgonzola sauce," said Jan Sjögren at the National Food Agency.

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Your comments about this article

16:54 January 5, 2013 by Redbee
umm, must have been delicious ! .Glad i'm a vegetarian at least have an idea what i'm eating although one wonders on bought veg and fruit what has been sprayed around . Best to grow your own if you can .
17:52 January 5, 2013 by maxbrando
You smug, arrogant Swedes. You are naieve fools, and deserve this.
19:58 January 5, 2013 by EmployedProfessional
As an American/New Yorker, this should really shock me.

NOT.

I love sweden and swedes but,they don't tend to know as much about food as they think they do especially city people who have never seen a farm.

It is what it is...

City folks are wealthy here but kinda dumb about food.

My country friends would never fall for this crap,some of them are ranchers!

I would rather cook at home with well chosen foods and seasonings more than loads of salt.
05:29 January 7, 2013 by cloud racer
It's called food fraud -- including milk, olive oil and seasonings. Apparently it's an epidemic:

http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/deal-of-the-day/8-food-frauds-on-your-shopping-list-1334616484577/?mg=com-sm#tabs
10:27 January 7, 2013 by Chuck_Norris
Swedes don't know the difference if you show them a Rump stake or a Topside stake.

They go by what is on the label. You can label a piece of meat almost anything and it will be sold by the price you want.

I see this crap pork meat at ridiculous price. I have family businesses in Stockholm that sell amazing quality Brazilian meat for amazing prices!

I don't know much about meatballs as Swedes do but I certainly know what fresh meat I am looking at.
14:41 January 8, 2013 by Mike
This scam took place in 5 countries for over 2 years, yet none of the government agencies discovered the problem. Why does 70% of my income fund this useless government?
07:05 January 14, 2013 by Da Goat
I can see lots of angry Muslims and food sensitive people, this is just plain wrong and slightly dangerous.... Imagine some poor sod going into allergic shock and passing on and not knowing why is the bright red cheap pork they ate!

the things unscrupulous bastards will go to, to make some (cheap) money .

surely the Swedes can taste the difference between pork and beef!

perhaps I should send the tonne of old bull meat I have in my freezer there (at least it is beef) I could make a fortune @ the prices paid in Sweden !
02:39 January 16, 2013 by R5S
The stupid comments of the officials shows that they don't think it's their job to prevent this kind of fraud. Tax payers sure don't get much value from their civil servants. But then swedes are historically trusting and naive, and rarely formally complain about anything, and this may be why officials and hospitals "get away with murder". Only the squeeky wheel get the oil.
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