Excess fat, tissue of poor quality, starch and soy: grilled steak chopped very bad quality have been provided in France to the associations of aid to the needy, a “deception,” denounced Friday by the repression of the frauds.
If these ground beef does not pose a risk to their health, their distribution was immediately halted, according to the Directorate-general for competition, consumption and repression of fraud (DGCCRF).
The steaks were distributed in four associations (the Red Cross, the French Federation of food banks, the Restaurants du Coeur and Secours Populaire) in the framework of a contract financed by the Fund for european aid to the most deprived (FEAD).
The case, revealed by RTL, begins at the end of march when several associations alert the authorities on the strange aspect of the beef steaks provided to the most disadvantaged.
The controls carried out by the repression of the frauds on forty samples are without appeal: none of them complies with the specifications of the chopped steak.
In this product is supposed to contain only the muscle of beef, the threshold of fat was systematically exceeded and the ratio collagen/protein exceeded the standards. When it is low, it indicates a steak of good quality.
Of exogenous products, such as starch and soy, have also been found.
– Deception by organized group –
“The product is not dangerous, but it is a scandal of give food to be fraudulent. It is unbearable to the eyes of the people that we serve”, has moved Laurence Champier, director of the federal network of food banks.
These facts likely to be qualified of deception in organized group can claim to their authors two years in prison and 1.5 million euros fine.
“It is criminal, we will transmit it to the attorney and it is out of the question that this type of attitude happen again”, was shown on RTL Agnès Pannier-Runacher, State secretary to the minister of the Economy, calling this fraud of a “shocking and morally shameful”.
The meat fraudulent has been provided to the associations by a French company sourcing from an industrial Polish.
A intermediate French has also been identified. The names of these companies have not been disclosed.
In the latest reports of the execution of the FEAD, consulted by AFP, the company Voldis has been several times part of the companies that have delivered ground beef through this program, in 2015 and 2016.
According to a source close to the dossier, this company is part of the companies cited in this case.
On Friday noon, no charge of Voldis was not available to respond to the AFP.
The leaders of the two French companies were heard by the investigators and the Polish authorities have been seized.
In 2018, this is 1,500 tonnes of frozen ground beef that were purchased, via this mechanism, for an amount of eur 5.2 million.
In a joint statement, the four associations of victims of this fraud have made it “have asked for a financial compensation to deal with the storage costs incurred by this situation”.
According to the authorities, the company in question is said to be ready to resume the meat in question and to replace it.
In 2015, the Restaurants of the Heart were removed from the minced steak already received from the FEAD of the distribution after the suspected presence of salmonella.