One of the people arrested arriving at court yesterday.

28-03-2018Alejandro Sepúlveda

The National Police have arrested three people following the seizure of over 50 tonnes of frozen food products which had passed their sell-by dates. The three appeared in court yesterday, and they are the owner and two managers of a company based in Marratxi. They are accused of various crimes against public health, employee rights and the Social Security and also face charges of fraud and forgery.

Investigations began early this month when police learned that the company could have been in breach of health and safety regulations in respect of food storage and distribution as well as of employee rights. Officers made several visits to the company premises and also to those of suppliers and clients. Two industrial units, one in Marratxi and the other in Palma, were found to have numerous irregularities.

Frozen meat which had passed its sell-by date was found. It had been modified and lacked identification or traceability. In addition, smoked salmon, cooked octopus, tinned food and various other products were found to be beyond their expiry dates. In some instances, products were three years out of date.

Original labels had been changed and falsified, products had been thawed in hot water so they could be served as "fresh" meat, pig guts and blood had been added in order to increase product weight. Salmonella bacteria were detected in a batch of chopped veal to which the pig parts had been added. However, no evidence of food poisoning has been found.

The company, which was registered in 2011, distributed to restaurants, hotels and schools in Majorca. Its operations were closed down on 16 March on the order of the health ministry, whose department of food safety had received the initial complaint about the company before referring the matter to the police.

As well as the irregularities with the food, there were those with staff. They were working ten-hour days for between 600 and 900 euros a month without overtime payments. Their contracts stated only twelve hours per week, giving rise therefore to a defrauding of Social Security. Some employees were also expected to make deliveries using their own vehicles and sometimes had to pay for their own fuel.

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RBMM / Hace 8 months

If you go to Mallorca only for the sun you would find "cheaper sun" in many other countries such as Portugal, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, etc. Almost all food I eat in Mallorca comes from Spain, although I realize that with some more effort I could make the share of food from Mallorca much larger. I can't even imagine what you eat James Worrall! As for the food scams I think that all people agree about how bad they are.

+4-

James Worrall / Hace 8 months

For the warm weather mainly! Most of Mallorcas food comes from other countries. This was a big operation that should have been stopped sooner. 50 tonnes???

+8-

RBMM / Hace 8 months

All these negative comments! As if this was unique to Mallorca. You find food scams in all countries. Why do you come to Mallorca if you don't like the island? It is a wonderful island with nice people. Why don't you see that?

+-11-

TC / Hace 8 months

Did they supply the prison kitchens too? The accused will soon get their just desserts!

+9-

James Worrall / Hace 8 months

First of all well done for catching them!! Believe it or not I've been visiting majorca for many years. I rented apartments, sourced my own ingredients and cooked them in the apartment. Very very rarely ate out. The odd times I did it was pretty poor, even the expensive restaurants. Now I'll to eat hotel grub.

+-11-

Henry James / Hace 8 months

It looks as though some of the claims for food poisoning in hotels could be justified after all and how many other companies are supplying out of date and adulterated food to hotels and have not been found out yet. Were there people employed by the hotels that this food was supplied to who knew it was not up to standard and did they receive back-handers for buying this food.?

+5-

Britbabe / Hace 8 months

There must be a source of these goods. If it is not found quickly, then they will be using other outlets for their out of date goods.

+14-

S. / Hace 8 months

Some claims of FOOD POISONING have been made in the last year . Some were false claims. Now, I wonder how many Hotel Guests etc. have been very ill from the supply of bad out of date, and mixed food products from this Company. Delighted they have been found out, and ceased trading, by Officers of the Policia----well done !.

+12-