IT was a case of mutton dressed as lamb for a NSW abattoir, which has been fined for meat substitution.The operator, Tolsat Pty Ltd in Frederickton on the mid-north coast, was fined $66,000 and placed on the NSW Food Authority's name and shame register for "large scale lamb substitution".
Inspectors became suspicious while checking the teeth of carcasses at the abattoir in 2008.
"At a follow-up investigation, officers found discrepancies in the abattoir livestock and slaughter records at the abattoir, and it appeared that older animals had been processed and supplied to its customers as lamb," the authority said.
Food Authority chief exeuctive Polly Bennett said the action against the abattoir sent a message about meat substitution.
"Consumers have a right to get what they pay for. That is why there are laws in place to distinguish young lamb meat, which is more expensive, from older hogget or mutton," she said in a statement.
The offences occurred between early October 2007 and mid-January 2008. The charges stemmed from a state-wide audit of lamb identification.
The NSW Chief Industrial Magistrates Court found Tolsat guilty of 66 charges, including false description and failure to comply with the meat safety scheme. It issued the fine last December.