Booths confirms it is the supermarket linked with beef scandal

Posted: 15 March 2023 | | No comments yet

Booths has confirmed in a statement that it is the supermarket involved in the “British” beef fraud incident and is currently working “closely and cooperatively” with the NFCU.


Providing an update on the “British” beef fraud incident, Booths has confirmed that it is the supermarket linked with the National Food Crime Unit’s (NFCU) investigation.

New Food recently reported on an unknown supermarket being subject to investigation for selling meat labelled as “best British beef” when its country of origin was actually South America and Europe.

Now, an unnamed spokesperson from Booths has confirmed that it was the supermarket selling the pre-packed beef in question.

According to The Guardian, the spokesperson said that Booths is currently working “closely and cooperatively” with the NFCU. 

“At the point of being made aware of the potential issues in 2021, Booths acted instantly, removing all relevant products from sale, and ceased trading with the supplier with immediate effect,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.

The spokesperson also highlighted that “fresh meat, poultry and game products” are “entirely unaffected” by the investigation.

“With the exception of the limited selection of cooked meat products impacted in 2021, Booths is absolutely confident in its British-only meat commitment,” the spokesperson claimed.

While The Guardian reports that the representative said “issues of provenance, traceability, honesty and authenticity are of the highest importance to Booths”, Chris Elliot, Professor of Food Safety at Queen’s University Belfast noted that this food fraud scandal may be the “tip of an ugly iceberg”.

Is “British” beef fraud “the tip of an ugly iceberg”?

Updating New Food with his thoughts on the incident, Elliott said: “The news of who the supplier was would always come out in the bad wash.”

To ensure food fraud incidents like this one are fully investigated, Elliott explained that he thinks Booths “still needs to answer a few [questions]”, including “how did their audits and inspections miss the fraud?” and “was the price it was paying [for the meat] too good to be true?”

Reports from The Guardian state that Booths has been working with the NFCU “for the past 18 months” to get to the bottom on the scandal.

Although the previously unknown supermarket has now been named, the investigation is still underway. New Food will keep its readers updated with any further developments.

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