The meat cartel repackages imported frozen meats with halal labels.
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Authorities managed to crack down on a “meat cartel” that was smuggling uncertified frozen meats from Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and China and repackaging it with fake halal labels before selling the products across the country.
Sinar Harian reports that the syndicate – operating out of a warehouse in Senai, Johor – allegedly disguise themselves as legitimate frozen meat suppliers to cheat local wholesalers into thinking that their products were obtained from authorized sources.
A raid of the location seized 1,500 tonnes of frozen meats estimated to value at RM30 million. The products were said to have been smuggled through Johor’s main seaports and the warehouse was used as a base to repackage the items with custom-made fake halal labels.
Authorities say that the cartel has been active for years. To avoid detection, they allegedly falsified import documents, permits and halal certificates besides also importing in products from legitimate sources and mixing it in with their stock.
The case is still under investigation and work is being done to determine where the fake halal meats were being distributed.
Aside from the whole “halal” issue, there have been other fears linked to frozen meats.
Recently, Chinese authorities reported that they had found traces of Covid-19 on frozen food and food packaging imported from Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and New Zealand.
But health experts say the chances of contracting coronavirus from food and its packaging are low and that there was no evidence of “food-borne” Covid-19 transmissions.
Malaysia’s Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that there had been no reports of local Covid-19 transmissions from imported frozen meats.
The World Health Organization (WHO) gives assurances that our food and groceries are safe from coronavirus and tells people not to worry about food processing and logistics services being contaminated.
However, people are advised to always maintain Covid-19 hygiene and physical distancing guidelines when buying food and supplies.
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