Denver market gets visit from health department over sales of uncertified meat

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DENVER -- After a tipster found whole, frozen chickens, bags of claws, discarded meat and blood, an unlicensed local market selling uncertified and unlabeled meat got a visit from the health department Wednesday.

“This is where I saw the chicken and you can see there’s like multiple sets of claws. There’s one right there,” said Veronica De Le Torre as she showed pictures she took of what she found inside the dumpster.

“It’s a little sketch that they are just chopping them up and dumping their bodies and you know we all use that trash can,” she said.

Danica Lee, with Denver’s Department of Environmental Health said the facility did not have a license with the City & County of Denver as they’re required to obtain.

Inspectors also said the meat found in freezers, like that in the dumpsters, was unlabeled and from an unapproved source.

The owner of the Nepali & Indian Grocery, Dinesh Rai told FOX31 he didn’t know the meat needed to be labeled.

“She told me, you can’t keep without label. So that’s the reason she said just dispose of that so I just put it in the trash,” Rai said.

A store employee told us the meat was purchased in Denver.

“He brought from a village to in here to, many people eat like pig,” he said.

According to the inspection report, 20 freshly plucked chickens and pork came from a private residence – the carcasses bagged inside the store to sell.

“I put it in the freezer OK.  It was frozen,” Rai said.

The health department said for consumer safety meats need to be USDA-approved.

“It's really important meat is controlled at many different levels, when its slaughtered, processed and stored and handled,” said Lee.

The health department said the store was cooperating.  All of the meat has been thrown away.  The department is also investigating the source of the meat.

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