Criminals supplying unfit meat to the public have created a mafia-type operation, according to environmental health officers, reported The Guardian newspaper this week.
The diversion of old and dangerous meat back into the food chain is now a highly organised operation, delegates to Britain’s first national conference on illegal meat were informed.
Enforcement officers at the event in Cardiff on Monday said they did not receive enough money from government and had too little support from the courts to tackle the problem in an effective manner. They are calling for stronger laws and better co-ordination.
Julie Barratt, director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, told the paper: “Illegal meat is a multi-million pound trade that presents a huge risk to public health in the UK.
“The dangers are not widely understood and systems of detection are under-resourced and poorly co-ordinated.
“Also, the law lacks the necessary teeth to bring perpetrators to book.”