Allegations of Fraud at Slaughterhouse in Guildford, Surrey
1. Chitty Foods is under investigation by Surrey Police after allegations that it mislabelled meat at its former slaughterhouse at Guildford, Surrey. Tesco reported the business to the authorities, stating: “Following allegations of fraud made against one of its meat suppliers, Tesco decided to notify the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which has subsequently called in the police to investigate. We are cooperating fully with the investigation and, pending the outcome, have ceased trading with the company. Customers should be reassured that this is not a food safety issue.
2. The Surrey Police, working in partnership with the FSA and DEFRA, said that it was looking into allegations of inaccurate labelling at a Guildford abattoir, but refused to name the business involved. The police spokesperson added that the FSA was also keen to stress that the incident did not raise any food safety concerns for consumers.
3. Chitty Food’s Guildford Slaughterhouse and boning plant, which is at the centre of the investigation, has recently been acquired by Anglo Beef Processors (ABP) as part of the latter’s expansion into the south east. A spokesperson for ABP said that it was not involved in the investigation, because the allegations were made before it took over the premises. He emphasized that acquisition of the site covered only the facilities and did not include any liabilities associated with the existing business there.
4. Andrew Chitty, Erstwhile of the Chitty Food Group, declined to comment on the investigation. Erstiohile volunteers for VEGA monitoring the livestock markets and auctions in premises next to the slaughterhouse will remember the site and another abattoir at the back of a butchers in Dorking. Many of the animals traded in Guildford were slaughtered elsewhere, possibly after further business at other auctions, to play the market; some were transhipped to the Continental trade.