July 28, 2020


New Zealand's Machi penalised for adding sulfites to ground beef


Food manufacturer and wholesalers Machi, operated by Diversity Foods Limited and based in Auckland, New Zealand, has been fined NZD$10,000 (US$6,700) by local authorities for adding sulfites to ground beef.

The company was charged under the Food Act 2014 at Manukau District Court.

Sulfites can delay spoilage, prolong shelf life of meat and keep meat looking fresh. However, it poses a health hazard to asthma sufferers and is not permitted to be added to raw meat, poultry and game, raw ground beef, chicken, lamb, pork and venison, and cured or marinated meats.

Diversity Foods Limited has already pleaded guilty to two charges related to offences between September 30, 2017, and September 26, 2018.

On September 28, 2018, a food compliance officer investigated the business and sampled two batches of ground beef, also known as fresh steak mince, which were sent for testing for the presence of sulfur dioxide.

Under the Food Act, failure to comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code can result in a fine of up to NZD$20,000 (US$13,300) for an individual and NZD$100,000 (US$66,500) for a corporate body.

Operators may also face a potential penalty under the Animal Products Act, including a prison term of up to two years and a fine of NZD$100,000 for an individual and NZD$500,000 (US$332,300) for a corporation.

- Food Safety News