Expired meats with worms, salmonella and E. coli: historic process begins for the supplier of Auchan, Carrefour, Mc Donald's, 10 years after the scandal

After more than 10 years of the scandal renamed "the affaire de la remballe", the trial begins against the Castel Viandes slaughterhouse, accused of marketing expired and spoiled meat, also sold to large chains such as Auchan and Mc Donald's

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Beef bovine damaged, expired, with worms, repackaged and relabeled with new expiration dates: this is what happened in the slaughterhouse Castel Meats, from Châteaubriant (in the French region of the Loire), which ended long ago at the center of a huge scandal. The reason? All these products have gone bad, and in some cases even contaminated with dangerous bacteria such as the Salmonella andEscherichia coli they were sold to large chains such as Auchan, Système U, Carrefour, Flunch and McDonald's.

The opening of Pandora's box dates back to 2013, when the former quality manager of the company decided to report. But only now, after more than 10 years, has the case arrived in court. Just today in Nantes will be held the trial against the Castel Viandes company, which has over 300 employees and slaughters around 65.000 head of cattle a year.

At the stand the managing director Joseph Viol, two of its managers, the quality manager and the production manager. The accusations are very serious: having marketed meat not suitable for human consumption and falsifying the documents relating to the traceability of the products. For its part, the company denies having committed any crimes. Contacted by the non-profit organization Foodwatch in 2020, Castel Viandes formally contested the allegations, declaring that those of the former quality manager were only "accusatory and slanderous remarks damaging the honor of all its employees and managers."

What happened in the Castel Viandes company

As anticipated, the affaire de la remballe (literally “the case of repackaging”) had been reported by a former employee, who already in 2008 had reported practices he deemed illegal to veterinary inspectors. Shortly after, the man was fired for "professional incompetence" and still fights for the recognition of informer status. Only in 2013 was the investigation started.

What, according to the prosecution, took place in the slaughterhouse made the skin crawl: the rotten meat, with a nauseating smell, and long outdated was repackaged with new expiration dates; in addition, the company falsified the results of bacteriological analyzes and traceability documents. The counterfeit foods were then resold to well-known chains such as Auchan and Système U, Fleury-Michon, Celtigel, Impralsa, McDonald's (tramite il suo fornitore McKey) and Flunch.

Of these, only McKey and Flunch filed civil lawsuits, together with the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir and the meat trade association Interbev.

It is very surprising that the other companies did not do it too, since the deceptions of which they were victims were potentially serious consequences ... - comments Que Choisir - But deliveries of fresh meat contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria or Escherichia ruin the reputation of Fleury-Michon, Marie or even Auchan and Système U. Maybe they didn't want their names associated with yet another meat fraud when the horse meat case was already making headlines?

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Fonti: Food Watch/Que Choisir 

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