A dairy owner, Ananda Krishna, and a company, Shop ND Save Limited, have been sentenced in Christchurch District Court for processing and selling goat meat outside of food safety rules and having unhygienic practices.
Mr Krishna, 54, was convicted and sentenced to 200 hours' community work and the company was fined $2,250.
The Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI's) chief compliance investigator Mark Sanders says the owner and company did not have a registered risk management plan.
"The rules are in place to protect people from foodborne illness. When businesses choose to ignore them they put people's health at risk."
Ananda Krishna and the company pleaded guilty to 3 charges under the Animal Products Act 1999. The charges resulted from 3 food safety concerns – improper storage of raw carcasses and pieces of meat causing potential contamination, equipment used for meat preparation not cleaned properly, and meat kept at the wrong temperature during processing.
The meat was sold to restaurants and the general public, which posed a potential risk to human health.
"The charges specifically related to the businesses operation between April 2018 and June 2019, when Mr Krishna diced goat meat purchased from registered wholesalers on a band saw at the rear of his shop. As a dairy owner, Mr Krishna was not licensed to process goat meat and sell it.
"On 21 May 2019, an MPI animal products officer visited Shop ND Save and found a small number of goat carcasses and goat meat in a walk-in freezer. Packaged and unlabelled, diced goat meat was located in the retail freezer at the front of the premises.
"During a search of the premises on 19 June 2019, 50 kilograms of diced goat meat were found in a freezer. Mr Krishna admitted processing goat meat himself on the band saw. Maggots fell out from the band saw equipment when it was opened. The equipment also contained bird faeces, which are known to harbour pathogenic bacteria.
"Unregulated operators have the potential to undermine the credibility of New Zealand's food industry, as outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are always publicised via local and international media.
"Consumers expect that the food they buy is safe. If we receive information about these kinds of illegal activities we will shut them down and the people making money from selling potentially unsafe product will be held to account."
We encourage anyone who has information about unsafe food to contact our food safety helpline – freephone 0800 00 83 33.