Chicken firm accused of short cuts
Johannesburg - County Fair, a division of Astral Foods, has allegedly been selling short measure chicken products, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) said on Monday.
"The company has been selling short mass chicken products and all attempts by the NRCS to get the company to correct and or withdraw its non-complying products from the market failed," the regulator said.
However, Astral Foods denied that it had not rectified the situation.
"We have agreed our interpretation of the law has been incorrect but we have rectified it," Theo Delport, MD for the Poultry division of Astral Foods, told Sapa.
He said it was a "once-off" violation which had not been malicious, but a misinterpretation of the act regarding the process of "glazing" chickens.
"We have since ceased doing that process."
It was a first offence, and after the NRCS's Legal Metrology Division in Cape Town visited them earlier this year and pointed it out, they had fixed it, he said.
"Our attorneys are busy with the state prosecutors involved negotiating a fine. It has not been paid but we agree to it in principle," said Delport.
The NRCS's Legal Metrology Division in Cape Town had laid charges at Elsies River police station against Country Fair in the Western Cape for repeated violation of the Legal Metrology Act, it said.
"During inspections at Country Fair, the following chicken products: Spar mix portions 2kg, Country Fair braai cuts 2kg, Country Fair drumstick 2 kg, Pick n Pay no name braai cuts 2kg, were found to be short measure and were sold to consumers," the NRCS said.
However, Delport said that on a follow-up visit to County Fair on February 23 and 24 the NRCS had found "everything in order".