Astral Foods Denies Charges

SOUTH AFRICA - Astral Foods says it rectified the situation following allegations about its poultry division, Country Bird.
calendar icon 7 April 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

County Fair, a division of Astral Foods, has allegedly been selling short measure chicken products, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) said earlier this week.

"The company has been selling short mass chicken products and all attempts by the NRCS to get the company to correct and or withdraw its non-complying products from the market failed," the regulator said in a statement.

However, according to Business Report citing SAPA, Astral Foods denied that it had not rectified the situation.

"We have agreed our interpretation of the law has been incorrect but we have rectified it," Theo Delport, MD for the Poultry Division of Astral Foods, told SAPA.

He said it was a 'once-off' violation, which had not been malicious but a misinterpretation of the act regarding the process of 'glazing' chickens.

"We have since ceased doing that process," he added.

It was a first offence, and after the NRCS's Legal Metrology Division in Cape Town visited them earlier this year and pointed it out, they had fixed it, he said.

"Our attorneys are busy with the state prosecutors involved negotiating a fine. It has not been paid but we agree to it in principle," said Mr Delport.

The NRCS's Legal Metrology Division in Cape Town had laid charges at Elsies River police station against Country Fair in the Western Cape for repeated violation of the Legal Metrology Act, it said.

"During inspections at Country Fair, the following chicken products: Spar mix portions 2kg, Country Fair braai cuts 2kg, Country Fair drumstick 2kg, Pick n Pay no name braai cuts 2kg, were found to be short measure and were sold to consumers," the NRCS said.

However, Mr Delport said on a follow up visit to County Fair on 23 and 24 February, the NRCS had found "everything in order".

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