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Poultry Processing & Slaughter
on May 1, 2015

Ex-manager fined for willfully mislabeling chicken

Former manager of Superior Poultry Processors fined CA$12,000 after mislabeling chicken as turkey and shipping products to Afghanistan

A former Canadian poultry processing manager has been fined CA$12,000 (US$9,908) after being found guilty on three counts of unlawfully labeling chicken products as turkey products with the intent of shipping the products overseas.

Bruce Steven Arabsky, a former general manager of Superior Poultry Processors Ltd., in Coquitlam, British Columbia was sentenced on April 30 to pay the fine after being convicted in December for the incidents that violated Canada’s Food and Drugs Act, according to a report from The Province. The case is 2014 BCSC 2547, Regina v. Bruce Steven Arabsky.

In 2010, Arabsky instructed an employee to prepare chicken drumsticks for export to Afghanistan and label the boxes they were placed in as turkey. This happened multiple times over a period spanning several weeks, according to a court document. Arabsky’s signature was on the export application verification forms that stated that the meat was turkey.

The Food and Drugs Act violation was discovered after a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection manager received an anonymous letter. A CFIA inspector investigated the allegations and found chicken in numerous boxes in three shipping containers labeled as turkey. The containers' contents were subsequently re-labeled as chicken and sent to Afghanistan with the proper labels in place.

Arabsky’s employment with Superior Poultry Processors has been terminated.

Arabsky has alleged he was following the instructions of the company’s owners when the poultry parts were mislabeled. Arabsky’s attorney has stated that the conviction and sentence will be appealed.

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