Food co 'shamed' for lamb substitution

01 Feb, 2013 12:40 PM

A COMPANY convicted of large scale lamb substitution at a Mid North Coast abattoir has been added to the NSW Food Authority's "name and shame" register.

Tolsat Pty Ltd, trading as Eversons Food Processors, was convicted and fined $66,000 on December 19 last year in the NSW Chief Industrial Magistrates Court on a total of 66 charges

Thirty-three of the offences - which occurred between October 2007 and January 2008 - related to false description (section 18(2)) and the balance to a failure to comply with the Meat Food Safety Scheme (section 104) of the Food Act 2003.

A spokesperson for the NSW Food Authority said the prosecution was the first of its kind.

It followed a State-wide audit of lamb identification procedures in 2008 in conjunction with complaints from industry and a Federal Senate inquiry into meat marketing at that time.

NSW Food Authority chief executive Polly Bennett said a NSW Food Authority inspector had noticed problems with the dentition checks the abattoir was conducting when it classified carcases as lamb during an audit of Tolsat's operations.

"At a follow-up investigation, officers found discrepancies in the abattoir livestock and slaughter records and it appeared that older lambs had been processed and supplied to its customers as lamb."

She said the outcome of the case sent a strong message about lamb substitution.

"Consumers rightly expect meat labels to be correct and not a substituted product," Ms Bennett said.

"Meat substitution laws are in place in NSW for a reason - flouting them also puts other businesses at a disadvantage for doing the right thing.

"Lamb is a premium commodity and one of the most recognised brands in Australia; consumers have a right to get what they pay for."

The Land was unable to contact Tolsat Pty Ltd, which according to the NSW Food Authority website no longer operates the abattoir, for comment.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


4/02/2013 4:40:38 AM, on The Land

Export the best and palm off the rubbish to the locals!
John Newton
4/02/2013 7:47:53 AM, on The Land

By 'older lambs' I presume you mean hogget or mutton. What a pity that these excellent products have to be disguised. When will we learn that there is more to sheep than lamb?
4/02/2013 9:11:38 AM, on The Land

So it took nearly 5 years to find them guilty and fine this operator? What a joke, there needs to be something done with our legal system if this is a quick as they "work".
Roger Crook
4/02/2013 9:36:08 AM, on Farm Weekly

When will we learn there is a home market for hogget and mutton. Remember corned mutton? Here in WA I have tried to buy older sheep meat and failed. Told it's not available.
4/02/2013 9:50:07 AM, on Queensland Country Life

Here, here, John Newton. I find lamb pretty tasteless but hogget is great, and most rural people who slaughter their own meat eat the mutton or hogget, not because they sell lamb but they prefer the older meat.
Mike Tancock
5/02/2013 10:45:17 AM, on Farm Weekly

A Dorset cross Hogget is close to the tastiest sheep meat there is, but the daggy words such as mutton & hogget don't flick too many taste buds. Lets call it "Agnello Matura" 2,4,6& A and market it as 2 & 4 tooth for roasts, chops barbarcue cutlets etc. 6 tooth & Aged for casseroles and good old fashioned soups & stews If you can't sell a product with an Italian name you are not trying.
5/02/2013 1:17:47 PM, on The Land

If you like the taste of gamey meat, eat camel. Solved! Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to enjoy lamb.
5/02/2013 3:00:04 PM, on The Land

We must have the most inept mob of public servants in NSW in the whole country. Fancy all those years to find something so obvious. Remember the dimwits in Treasury getting the NSW budget figures all wrong. Hopeless.
6/02/2013 9:30:27 AM, on Stock Journal

If people would only try 2 tooth...they would be very surprised...I think when you produce these products you do know which meat is the tastiest...and if they want to continue to eat lamb then go for it but they are missing out on the best meat there is...


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Can't you boys find another playground to occupy? Same old punters, same old tired barbs and
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Another of the sacred scare stories comes undone for the agw
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He might well be a decent bloke Chick, however Jock is right on the money regarding Sterles