Auckland food manufacturer fined $10k for tainted beef mince

6:12 pm on 23 July 2020

An Auckland food manufacturer has been fined $10,000 for selling beef mince laced with a preservative that can be a health risk.

Minced meat.

(file picture) Photo: 123RF

Adding sulphites to food, which can slow down meat spoilage, is banned due to the risks it poses to asthma sufferers.

Machi, which is operated by Diversity Foods, sold more than 23,000 kilograms of the tainted beef steak meat - valued at an estimated $163,000 - over a year from September 2017 until September 2018.

The offending was discovered during an evaluation of the company's food control plan, when inspectors found a bottle of liquid preservative. The bottle was labelled "to be used with fresh sausages only and not raw meat", according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

On 28 September 2018 an MPI Food Compliance Officer investigated the business, and sampled two batches of fresh steak mince which later were found to contain sulphur dioxide.

After pleading guilty to two charges, and appearing in the Manukau District Court today, Machi was fined $10,000.