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Joint State-federal Task Force Investigating Charges of Food Fraud

A task force of the federal Department of Agriculture and the New York State Kosher Law Enforcement Division is collecting evidence against the owner of a multi-million dollar wholesale firm supplying kosher and non-kosher meat in the Catskill resort area in the belief that the owner has been selling non-kosher meat as kosher to many hotels in that area, the Jewish Telegraphic agency learned today.

Sources who asked not to be quoted by name told the JTA that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, parent agency of the Kosher Law Enforcement Division, had seized more than 1,000 pounds of suspect meat at the wholesale factory in Woodridge, N.Y. The sources said that the confiscated meat would be part of the evidence against the wholesaler.

Efforts by the JTA to determine whether the wholesaler would get a hearing on the charges with a possible fine or face criminal charges were futile. James McCormick, compliance officer of the federal Agriculture department, said he could not comment on the matter at the current stage of investigation.

Rabbi Schulem Rubin, director of the State Kosher Law Enforcement Division, gave the same reply to questions about when the task force probe began and how long the wholesaler had been engaged in the alleged violation of the state’s protection law against fraud in distribution of kosher products.

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