A Whangarei bakery manager was convicted of buying unregulated homekill meat with the intention to use it in produce sold across the counter, in Whangarei District Court on Monday (9 February 2015).
Sok Heng Chhiv, 30, of Whangarei, pleaded guilty to a charge of buying unregulated meat, which had not been processed in accordance with the Animal Products Act, laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
She was fined $1125 and the unregulated meat was forfeited.
On 21 May 2014, an Animal Products Officer inspected Whau Valley Hot Bread Shop in Whangarei, jointly owned and managed by Mrs Chhiv and her husband.
As part of the inspection, the officer found 71.7kg of beef that Mrs Chhiv had no receipts for. Meat for human consumption must be documented throughout the food chain so it can be traced back to its farm of origin should there be a health or hygiene issue.
Mrs Chhiv said she had bought 60kg of diced beef and 11.7kg of beef fillet and rump steak for $500 from “Arron” the previous day.
She said she had not bought meat from “Arron” before, but did so because it was cheaper than the butcher and good quality.
She said “Arron” was a homekill operator, but did not know it was illegal to buy meat from this source.
In January 2015, Arron Ogle, 40, of Whangarei, director of Homekill Services Ltd, was convicted of selling 71.7kg of unregulated meat in Whangarei District Court and fined $2250.
MPI District Compliance Manager Whangarei Darren Edwards said that this prosecution saw the completion of an investigation which had looked at both the supply and on selling of unregulated meat, and that it was pleasing that all parties involved had pleaded guilty to the charges in taking full responsibility for their actions.
Mr Edwards says all meat that is sold for human consumption must be processed to standards in the Animal Products Act to ensure there is no risk for consumers.
“These standards are there to protect consumers and to safeguard New Zealand’s international reputation with trading partners.
“By ensuring that regulated meat products are processed to required standards and adhere to strict reporting regulations the Ministry for Primary Industries is able to maintain this reputation.
“Whilst it was extremely disappointing to find offending like this in Northland it’s reassuring to know that the inspection regimes that are in place are working.”
To report any suspect illegal home-kill sales please contact the MPI Foodline 0800 00 83 33.