Spanish authorities have seized more than 28 tons of food that they said was not suitable for human consumption.
Items were found in the facilities of companies in the provinces of Zaragoza, Valencia, and Almería, according to the Guardia Civil.
Officials said meat products, frozen fish, and other items were sold with expired shelf life dates, manipulated labels, and irregularities in traceability.
Eight people were arrested, and another 81 are being investigated for crimes, including fraud, public health offenses, and document falsification.
Operation Potacar also involved officials from Aragon, Valencia, and Andalusia.
Manipulation of dates
Food was seized from distribution warehouses. The first inspection occurred at a company in Cuarte de Huerva, Zaragoza. Officers found food that they believed had been relabeled with a longer shelf life date, and various batches had been sold to other sites.
A second inspection of another company in Zaragoza uncovered similar issues with food that had expired and items that should have been sold as fresh, but that had been frozen before the expiration date and put on sale afterwards.
During another inspection in Xirivella, Valencia investigators discovered a company that sold products with expired dates and irregularities in the labeling.
Visits to another 19 establishments in various other locations uncovered further non-compliances, according to the Guardia Civil.
In another phase of the operation, that took place over several months, numerous outlets were inspected in several different areas. More than 18,000 kilograms of products were seized as officers judged they were not safe for human consumption.
Finally, another 45 inspections in different establishments led to more products being confiscated. Most food was found at a company in Zaragoza that supplied meat products to other sites.
Earlier this year, Spanish authorities confiscated more than 16 tons of food due to it being unfit to consume.
The Guardia Civil and officials from the Aragón region made the discovery at a warehouse for the distribution of food products. Products included beverages, canned items, meat products, nuts and various types of sweets. Inspections were carried out over several days due to the large number of items stored in the warehouse.
In a different investigation, nine people were arrested for selling cannabis in packs mimicking bags of sweets.
As part of Operation Kaugumi, the Guardia Civil found products were packaged in bags looking like items in the food chain with some of them appearing to be candy. The operation began as a result of several enquiries carried out by the Guardia Civil in Almería. Officers found a company in Granada, which had a structure to carry out the production, preparation, distribution and sale of these products. They were sold at sites including sports nutrition stores and service stations.
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