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Smokie butcher given suspended sentence

Stuart Spear17/06/2015 - 15:15

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Smokies have been sold illegally for years
Smokies have been sold illegally for years

A meat trader has been given a three month suspended sentence and his company has been ordered to pay £9,597 after being found guilty of selling ‘smokies’.

The prosecution follows an EHOs from the London Borough of Hackney inspected Islam Halal Meat at 134-135 Ridley Road in August 2013.

The prosecution follows an inspection of Islam Halal Meat at 134-135 Ridley Road by EHOs from the London Borough of Hackney. They found 18 portioned bags of scorched sheep with the skin still on in a chiller.

Smokies are considered a delicacy amongst some African communities and have been traded illegally for years. In London, gangs typically buy sheep in rural communities, slaughter them illegally and then blow torch the skin to get a distinctive smoked taste.

During the slaughter process sheep and goats are slaughtered in unhygienic conditions intentionally bypassing official controls and with a disregard of animal welfare rules.

Smokies are then sold illegally in London markets and some ethnic minority shops. There has been a long history of smokies being sold in Ridley Road market in Hackney through criminal gangs operating out of Wales.

Islam Halal Meat Ltd and its director Mohammed Sultan were found guilty of two offences each under the food safety regulations. Sentencing at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 5 June the magistrate chair said: ‘because of possible consequences of eating unsafe meat the custodial threshold had been crossed.’

Mr Sultan was given a three-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently for each offence. He was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.

The company was fined £1,000 for two offences and ordered to pay prosecution full costs of £9,357.

Hackney Council launched a Food Standards Agency funded ‘food fraud’ project to help combat the trade in illegal meat including bush meat being sold in the borough.

The council has been working with the Association of London Environmental Health Managers, which has set up a London Food Fraud Group to share intelligence between councils on illegal meat activities across the capital.       










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