Seven employees of Cooperl Arc Atlantique, the largest pork company in France, will appear before a French court due to accusations of falsifying records of internal meat inspections in order to conceal Salmonella contamination.
According to the court papers, the falsification concerned some 2,000 tonnes of pork with an estimated value of three million euros. French authorities already seized that sum of money from the company’s bank accounts.
”The cooperative was aware of the results of the Salmonella tests but did not declare the results,” a magistrate said.
The employees are due to appear at the so-called correctionel court in February next year. Earlier this year, Cooperc Arc Atlantique in a letter to its staff denied the accussations of fraud and falsification.
“The problems were caused by a misinterpretation of the regulations,” it said. Cooperl added however that ‘internal procedures have been improved in order to avoid similar problems in the future’.
According to its website, Cooperl Arc Atlantique had a turnover of over €2 billion in 2012. In the same year, the company slaughtered over 5 million pigs from 2,700 farmer members.