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Friday, October 26, 2007

Smells Fishy: Frozen Fish being tampered with

Amnon Levy's candid camera catches frozen fish importer 'fixing' sell-by dates

Amnon Levy's television program Screen Saver (Shomer Masach) claims that Haim Paskovich & Sons of Ashdod is importing frozen fish and replacing the sell-by dates with ones that are eight months to a year later.

The show was aired on Channel 10 television last night. Evidently Rafi Ginat's Kolbotek and cats in Tiv Taam's logistics center isn't the only consumer chronicle in town.

When Kolbotek attacked Tiv Taam for the second time in a year, the supermarket chain claimed that shots of cats eating meat meant for consumers were staged by disgruntled ex-workers. True or not, Screen Saver came across the fish case when two former Haim Paskovich workers leaked. The Screen Saver team planted a mole at the company.

On "Alon's" second day of work at Haim Paskovich, he documented on candid camera how workers at the plant would remove the sell-by labels from boxes of frozen fish that were near or past the deadline. The workers then affixed new labels to the boxes, extending the sell-by date by eight to 12 months.

Alon shot footage of the old labels being collected and bagged, presumably for destruction, and also filmed two veteran workers admitting that replacing labels was the norm at the company.

A week before the scheduled broadcast, the Screen Saver team notified Haim Paskovich, which denied the allegations, somewhat.

Through the offices of advocate Ilan Bombach, the Haim Paskovich corporation stated: "All the imported frozen fish arrive in chilled containers, at the temperature required by law. All the types of frozen fish undergo laboratory tests, as the Health Ministry requires, and are released for sale only after having passed the tests. All the products leaving the company's central warehouse in Ashdod are supervised and approved by a certified doctor who works according to Health Ministry directives, and are subject to the standards and requirements of the Health Ministry."

The company added that a corner of the warehouse is allocated for destroying bad products. "Sometimes, for technical reasons, the overseas supplier doesn't print all the information the Health Ministry requires on the products. The company is forced to update these details. This is done under the supervision of a doctor and in coordination with the authorities and the supplier. We regret that Screen Saver is clinging to facts that we cannot respond to properly and deny."

Mr Bagel: If the allegations are true then this has to be very disturbing. The tampering of use by dates on Frozen Products is not only unethical it essentially puts peoples lives at risk


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