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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 17:15 GMT
Food firm is fined over labelling
The product that was mislabelled with the reference to gluten highlighted
The meatballs product was wrongly labelled as free of gluten
A company has been fined 5,000 for incorrectly labelling imported Swedish meatballs as gluten-free, after a Northants trading standards inquiry.

Rohi International of Herts pleaded guilty on Friday to two offences under the General Food Regulations 2004 at Northampton Magistrates Court.

As a result of the investigation Tesco withdrew the product from its stores.

The court heard that the health of people with gluten intolerance could have been affected by the product.

The firm was fined 2,500 for each offence and ordered to pay 1,289 costs.

Products imported

In January 2005, Northamptonshire County Council's trading standards team carried out an investigation following a complaint from Mrs Harris, 57, after she bought the meatball product from a Tesco store in Northampton.

Mrs Harris contacted trading standards because she had checked the packaging of the "Swedish Chef - Authentic Swedish Meatballs" and found that despite it being labelled "this product does not contain lactose or gluten", the ingredients list included milk and breadcrumbs.

The products had been imported by Rohi International Ltd to be sold exclusively in Tesco stores.

Because of the investigation, as well as being nationally withdrawn from sale, posters were displayed in Tesco stores informing customers of the problem with the meatball products.

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