A dairy owner and company have been sentenced in New Zealand for processing and selling potentially hazardous goat meat.

The dairy owner, Ananda Krishna, was convicted and was sentenced to 200 hours of community work. The business, Shop ND Save Limited, was fined NZ$2,250 (U.S. $1,460) at Christchurch District Court.

The 54-year-old and the company pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Products Act 1999 because of three food safety concerns. They were improper storage of raw carcasses and pieces of meat causing potential contamination, equipment used for meat preparation not cleaned properly, and meat kept at the wrong temperature during processing.

Product was sold to restaurants and the public, which posed a potential risk to human health but no illnesses were reported.

Maggots and bird feces
Mark Sanders, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) chief compliance investigator, said the owner and company did not have a registered risk management plan.

“The rules are in place to protect people from foodborne illness. When businesses choose to ignore them they put people’s health at risk. Unregulated operators have the potential to undermine the credibility of New Zealand’s food industry, as outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are always publicized via local and international media,” he said.

“The charges specifically relate to the businesses operation between April 2018 and June 2019, when Krishna diced goat meat purchased from registered wholesalers on a band saw at the rear of his shop. As a dairy owner, Krishna was not licensed to process goat meat and sell it.”

In May 2019, an MPI animal products officer visited Shop ND Save and found a number of goat carcasses and goat meat in a walk-in freezer. During a search of the premises in June 2019, 50 kilograms of diced goat meat were found in a freezer.

“Packaged and unlabeled, diced goat meat was located in the retail freezer at the front of the premises. Krishna admitted processing goat meat himself on the band saw. Maggots fell out from the band saw equipment when it was opened. The equipment also contained bird feces, which are known to harbor pathogenic bacteria,” said Sanders.

“Consumers expect that the food they buy is safe. If we receive information about these kinds of illegal activities we will shut them down and the people making money from selling potentially unsafe product will be held to account.”

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