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Bashas’ to pay restitution for meat mislabeling

PHOENIX — The parent company of AJ’s Fine Foods has agreed to pay more
than $1.4 million in restitution to food banks around Arizona in a meat
mislabeling case.

Federal prosecutors said Bashas’ Inc. operated 12 AJ’s locations in the Phoenix
metropolitan area and one in Tucson at the time of the mislabeling from January
2010 to February 2012.

Investigators said meat department employees at some of the AJ’s markets took
beef tenderloin steaks that had been graded as “choice” under the USDA’s
system and mislabeling them as “prime” and also mislabeled “Kobe” ground
beef.

AJ’s reported selling more than 17,500 pounds of the mislabeled steaks and
nearly 140,000 pounds of the mislabeled ground beef.

In addition to restitution, Bashas’ will discipline and-or fire culpable
employees and adopt a comprehensive compliance program.

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