December 31, 2008
Italian authorities confiscated 176 tonnes of spoiled or fake seafood across Italy in a series of raids over the past two weeks, officials said Tuesday (Dec 30).
Most of the haul involved frozen seafood that was either expired or was poorly conserved.
Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia said a fraction involved cheap, foreign fish that was being marketed as more expensive, locally-caught fish.
In the operation, 2,000 officials from the Coast Guard and regional ports conducted more than 6,600 searches in 14 ports across Italy from December 12 to December 29.
Some importers and distributors were hit with nearly US$985,000 in administrative fines.
Zaia said the raids showed that Italy had zero tolerance for fraud involving its food especially during the holidays.