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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Food safety officers seize rotting meat
Tower Hamlets officers seize meat
It took officers a day to clear out all the meat
Goat meat, cows' feet and decaying chicken made up some of the 30 tons of illegal meat seized in east London.

Food safety officers backed up by 50 police officers raided an unlicensed food plant in Bow on 19 June after seven months of surveillance.

They found the place was infested with rats and mice and found so much illegal meat it took them a day to remove it.

Lambs' brains, cows' muzzles and gizzards were also among meat seized.

It is thought the meat, which was meant to become pet food, was bought at abattoirs to be repacked and sold for human consumption.

Officers are also investigating whether decaying chicken pieces were systematically bleached to make them look like healthy meat.

An application will be made to Thames Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to have all the meat destroyed.

Rick Mason, head of food safety at Tower Hamlets, told BBC News Online: "I have been told it would take about two weeks to incinerate because of the sheer volume."

The owner of the plant may also face prosecution.




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