[10 June/Food Navigator]

Beef burgers that failed to meet legal standards were purchased by four charities tackling food poverty in France, resulting in large-scale food fraud. Using funds from the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), the charities purchased and redistributed frozen burgers, which turned out to not meet minimum legal standards that govern the products. The associations removed the frozen burgers from their networks and alerted the food safety authorities at both a regional and national level after concerns were made about the quality of the products. It was then confirmed that deception over substantial qualities of the product has taken place. The Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) investigated and traced the fraudulent food back to a French company that sources the burgers from a Polish supplier and are now in contact with Poland to extend the investigation. According to consumer watchdog FoodWatch, the current situation contains the same failures as the 2013 horsemeat scandal: opaqueness, poor traceability and weak control mechanisms.