Inspectors Seize 20 Tons of 'Phony Food'

Inspectors detained and destroyed some 20 tons of meat and other food items that had not been inspected or approved by Israeli authorities.

Moshe Cohen,

Tel Aviv supermarket
Tel Aviv supermarket
Flash 90

Inspectors detained and destroyed some 20 tons of meat and other food items that had not been inspected or approved by Israeli authorities. The food items were found in a warehouse in the farming community of Yish'i, near Beit Shemesh.

About six months ago, inspectors said, unapproved food items with questionable kashrut certifications started showing up in Israeli markets. The items sparked attention from the Chief Rabbinate, responsible for kashrut certification, as well as officials of several government ministries, who realized that the products had not undergone inspection.

Inspectors opened an investigation, seeking to find the source of the products. Last week, inspectors found their quarry, and surrounded the warehouse, which, it turned out, was a major smuggling center to which products from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and Arab countries were brought, via dubious means. Among the items were many that were past their due date. Equipment to change the dates was discovered at the warehouse, along with other tools that could be used to hide the origin or condition of the products.

In addition, many of the items had unauthorized and fake kashrut certifications on them. Some of the products were marked with inspection stickers from fake “badatzim,” kashrut organizations that are generally respected for their higher standards. Other products had stamps allegedly provided by the Rabbinate, as well as legitimate supervisory agencies.

The warehouse's owner was arrested and will be charged on a number of criminal charges, officials said.




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