Regulator apologises to chicken firm
Johannesburg - The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) apologised to Astral Foods [JSE:ARL] on Tuesday for accusing one of its divisions of selling underweight chicken products.
The results of an NRCS inspection in February this year confirmed frozen chicken pieces sold by County Fair in Epping, Cape Town, were within the prescribed weight specifications, Astral spokesperson Marlize Keyter said.
During inspections in December 2010 at County Fair's facility the products were allegedly found to be underweight.
The NRCS' legal metrology division in Cape Town laid charges at Elsies River police station against County Fair in the Western Cape for repeated violation of the Legal Metrology Act. Metrology is the science of measurement.
"During inspections at County Fair, the following chicken products: Spar mix portions 2kg, County Fair braai cuts 2kg, County Fair drumstick 2kg, Pick n Pay no name braai cuts 2kg, were found to be short measure and were sold to consumers," the NRCS said.
However, on a follow-up visit to County Fair on February 23 and 24, the NRCS had found "everything in order".
Keyter said the NRCS had ordered that the product concerned should not be sold to consumers and County Fair had fully complied with this instruction.
NRCS management formally apologised to Astral Foods for any "inconvenience, embarrassment or damage" its media statement on April 4 2011 might have caused the company.
Astral CEO Chris Schutte said: "We accept the formal apology extended by the NRCS and confirm that there is no need for any of County Fair's customers, or consumers of their various products, to be concerned.
"We herewith also state that the company has not been found guilty of any transgression and no fine has been imposed on the company.
"It is however disappointing that unfounded statements were made in the media causing damage to the reputation of County Fair and Astral," he said.