Manufacturer denies mixing horsemeat into beef
A UK businessman has denied mixing horsemeat into beef products.
Andronicos Sideras, of Dinos & Sons, is currently on trial for conspiracy to defraud. According to the BBC, The Guardian and other national media outlets, Sideras has told the jury that he held and relabelled consignments of horsemeat for a business contact but that this was “perfectly legal”.
Appearing at inner London crown court, he went on to say that his firm did change the labels on some pallets but this was only because “pallets of the meat had been damaged in transit and had to be repacked”.
A report from The Guardian states that Sideras told the court: “We have never purchased, used or sold horsemeat.”
Sideras has been accused by the prosecution of mixing consignments of horsemeat and beef together into a single load and labelling it in a way that suggested all the meat was beef.
According to the Dinos & Sons website, the company currently manufactures around 10000lb of sausages and other meat products weekly, which are sold to the whole of UK. The business was started by Cyrpriot Dinos Sideras in 1960 after he moved to the UK.
In a statement released in 2013, the company said: “Dinos & Sons has been asked to clarify its position in respect of the transportation and storage of frozen beef that was imported by, and belonged to, a third party that the FSA is investigating.
“Dinos & Sons did not keep this frozen beef in the same premises as its own products and there was therefore no possibility of any cross-contamination.
“At no time has Dinos & Sons produced or manufactured anything that is under investigation or is the subject of any possible contamination or mislabelling.
“There is no suggestion whatsoever that Dinos & Sons’ manufacturing processes have been compromised in any way. Tests undertaken by independent laboratories on Dinos & Sons’ products have proved negative to date for any contaminants, including horsemeat.”
The trial continues.