Impoverished French given poor quality meat in fraud scheme

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PARIS (AP) — French authorities have launched an investigation into an alleged fraud scheme involving French and Polish companies suspected of providing minced meat of extremely poor quality to charities.

France's anti-fraud agency said Friday that the French company that sold 1,500 tons of frozen steaks worth 5.2 million euros ($5.9 million) to charities in France as part of a program financed by a European aid fund bought the meat from a Poland-based provider.

Investigators suspect another French company of acting as a go-between.

Samples of the meat revealed it did not conform to French standards, with excess fat and a "poor quality of tissue." Analysis, however, showed eating the steaks was harmless.

The four charities that distribute about 78,000 tons of food annually have been urged to withdraw the food.

The investigation's results will be submitted to justice officials.

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