Fake Iberian hams with €1 million retail price are seized during meat firm raids in Spain

THOUSANDS of falsely-labelled Iberian ham shoulders have been seized in a probe over a €1 million food fraud.

Seven meat firms are been investigated by the Guardia Civil in the Badajoz, Madrid, Murcia, and Salamanca areas of Spain.

Ten people have been interviewed, and one arrested, over the bogus labelling of premium meat products.

29,000 items have been impounded including 19,600 Iberian hams and ham shoulders, with a retail value of over €1 miliion.

Inquiries into a mass fraud started after a food shop inspection in the Zafra area of Badajoz last year.

Experts spotted deficiencies and anomalies in meat sold there, notably in Iberian ham products that were not what they claimed to be.

Some of the items were not even fit for human consumption.

Guardia officers uncovered a comprehensive chain of seven meat firms who falsified documents and changed the classification of hams to the accredited Iberian standard.

There were cases where customers returned sub-standard hams only for them to be resold.

The identities of the seven companies have not been revealed.

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