A businessman who conspired to defraud customers by selling meat products labelled 100% beef despite containing horsemeat has been prosecuted.
Dinos and Sons owner Andronicos Sideras conspired with Ulrich Nielsen and Alex Ostler-Beech – of Flexi Foods – to sell horsemeat as beef over a 10-month period in 2012.
The case, investigated by the City of London Police, is a significant landmark for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who first began looking into the circumstances behind the adulteration of meat products with horsemeat in 2013.
This follows a European horsemeat trading ring which was disbanded by police and Interpol reported earlier this month.
Chairman Heather Hancock said: “This guilty verdict is a welcome outcome. It sends a strong message that we will not tolerate fraudulent activity and I hope today’s conviction is a major deterrent to those who think they can profit from duping consumers.”
She added: “Since the horsemeat incident, the FSA, along with the meat industry, has made great efforts to reduce this kind of criminality.
“The establishment of the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) has given the general public, the food industry and law enforcement partners at home and abroad for the first time, a dedicated single point of contact to share suspicions about dishonesty within food supply chains.
“And although fraud evolves and is inherently unpredictable, the combination of these measures should mean that another incident of this nature is less likely.”