Fast Food Chain, Bulgarian Food Safety Agency Clash over Extortion Allegations

Business | May 21, 2015, Thursday // 15:59| Views: | Comments: 1
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Bulgaria: Fast Food Chain, Bulgarian Food Safety Agency Clash over Extortion Allegations BFSA Chair Plamen Mollov, photo by BGNES

Fast food chain Aladin Foods OOD has accused the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA) of extortion, while the Agency has insisted that the company fails to meet safety and hygiene standards.

The founder of the company, Aladin Harfan, claimed that the Agency had requested a monthly bribe of EUR 10 000 to leave the company alone.

After the payment had been refused, the Agency had conducted a series of checks at several of the company’s processing plants and the production process had been temporarily stopped, Harfan stated, as cited by the BGNES news agency.

Harfan declared that the BFSA was a corrupt entity that was causing damage to the entire fast food sector in the country.

He explained that the direct losses incurred during the production stoppage amounted to BGN 650 000, while the loss in terms of turnover stood at over 30%.

Plamen Mollov, Chair of the BFSA, insisted that the accusations were manipulative.

He presented photos showing spoilt meat at a processing plant of the company and suggested that the fast food chain was using seasonings and spices to disguise the low quality of the ingredients.

Mollov said that a check conducted over the alleged bribe request had not identified anything problematic.

The BFSA Chair insisted that Aladin Foods had been operating amid appalling hygienic conditions and a lack of a management and traceability system.

He said that the Agency had made several inspections at the company’s processing plants and had issued protocols and recommendations, adding that follow-up checks had shown that they not been observed.

Mollov claimed that the lack of traceability meant that it was not clear what raw material went into the end product and that this practice was most often deployed to evade VAT.

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Tags: Bulgarian food safety agency, fast food, extortion
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» To the forumComments (1)
Peter Perfect - 22 May 2015 // 07:48:41

Plamen Mollov, Chair of the BFSA, insisted that the accusations were manipulative.

Strange turn of phrase, not saying the accusations were "lies" or "totally untrue" or "without foundation",leads one to believe there is indeed truth in the accusations. Another point, if you have been asked for a bribe to "leave you alone" and you refuse and are subsequently "visited" would you not ensure that everything was perfect for the next visit?? The fact that the BFSA found such failures is in itself suspect to say the least. Corruption must be weeded out and dealt with and maybe the government could do no better that starting with this incident.

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