Spanish authorities have seized 100 kilograms of meat suspected to be unfit for human consumption.
Guardia Civil detained the 220 pounds of products in a town in the Gúdar-Javalambre region of the Teruel province as they were in a vehicle lacking the correct refrigeration conditions and without appropriate sanitary documentation.
The driver of the vehicle was reported for transporting products without proper food traceability and for lacking the necessary commercial and health documents. Officials said the rupture of the cold chain could mean products pose a risk to the public.
Checks took place because of the tightened security on movement around the coronavirus pandemic. Officials discovered several journeys were made between different locations, which they said justified the action.
In one of these trips, agents intercepted the vehicle transporting 100 kilograms of chicken and beef in plastic bags scattered throughout the passenger compartment. Other foods were also found.
A separate operation discovered 10 Vietnamese pigs on a farm in the Tenerife town of Puerto de la Cruz kept in poor conditions without water, food or shelter.
The inspection also found three horses with microchip issues. Once owners of the property and the animals were located and identified, they said they had no documentary record of the animals and were reported.
Guardia Civil have also dismantled a suspected drug trafficking gang that created a fictitious food company that produced and packed canned tomatoes guaranteeing road transport to Lithuania during the state of alarm related to the COVID-19 crisis.
Three people were arrested and another investigated, all of them of Lithuanian nationality, in operation Vaistas. The trio are believed to have sent drugs to their country that they cultivated themselves hidden in tinned tomato cans. They used a house as a canning factory and officials found machinery for sealing tomato cans. The gang allegedly bought empty cans and labels of a legitimate tomato brand that was not involved in the scam.
Italian food checks
Meanwhile, Carabinieri NAS in Potenza, a city in the Basilicata region of Italy, have helped in an operation that seized a ton of food.
A sanitary inspection at a supermarket found food past its shelf life date. During the same check, officials discovered hygienic and structural deficiencies. Seriousness of the violations led to the immediate suspension of the store.
Another investigation by Carabinieri NAS in Catania, a city in Sicily, focused on a non-compliant farm.
The findings come after a series of checks aimed at verifying the safety of Easter food products. A suspect is accused of killing sheep and goats in a slaughterhouse without the necessary registration and in poor sanitary conditions.
During the investigations, officials found two carcasses of dead animals and 18 skins from previously killed sheep. They also sealed another room, located in a building adjacent to the farm, that didn’t have the required sanitation or structural requirements.
Cockroaches in a bakery led to about a ton and a half of such products being detained by Carabinieri NAS in Naples (Napoli). An inspection found baked goods, flour and other materials were in contact with cockroaches and other insects.
The closure of the bakery was ordered as it did not meet the minimum sanitation and structural requirements set in the legislation. The bakery owner was charged with violations at a value of €4,000 ($4,300).
Finally, Carabinieri NAS in Bologna, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region, has seized meat, rice and vegetables worth €20,000 ($21,600).
A series of checks, in the capital and province of Bologna, targeted the food supply chain. Two companies were importing meat, thought to be of poultry origin as well as rice, legumes and spices from India and Pakistan, which had expired.
Seized foods were ready to be released into the retail trade. Owners of the companies were fined €4,000 euros. ($4,300).
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