Home » Headline » Chocolat Royal boss free but US businessman gets 28 years for similar offence
Chocolat Royal boss free but US businessman gets 28 years for similar offence
267A Etim Inyang: Location of where Chocolat Royale sells tainted ice cream and cakes made from expired products

Chocolat Royal boss free but US businessman gets 28 years for similar offence

While Chocolat Royal boss, Amin Mousalli  and wife remain untouched, US Businessman, Stewart Parnell gets 28 years for selling bad peanuts.

In case you have forgotten the story, in May 2015, the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had shut down Chocalat Roayal, a swanky Ice Cream and Confectionary owned by Media and property businessman, Amin Mousalli for selling products made from expired milk, in another clime, the US Justice Department has sentenced a businessman, Stewart Parnell to 28 years in prison for committing almost a similar offence.

According to Reuters, Parnell who led the Peanut Corporation of America was found guilty in an outbreak of salmonellosis, which led to the death of nine people and sickened hundreds. They were accused of conspiracy for knowingly selling buyers peanuts infected with Salmonella.

Federal investigators found a leaky roof, roaches and evidence of rodents all ingredients for brewing salmonella. They also uncovered emails and records showing food confirmed by lab tests to contain salmonella was shipped to customers anyway.

Stewart Parnell: Got 28 years

Stewart Parnell: Got 28 years

Other batches were never tested at all, but got shipped with fake lab records saying salmonella screenings were negative.

 

The Prosecution stated that the brothers concealed the presence of salmonella in the peanut products. They fabricated fake result certificates to indicate that the peanuts were safe for consumption, despite the fact that the laboratory results showed otherwise.

The incident in 2008 reportedly sickened 714 Americans in 46 states  and all incidents were traced to Peanut Corporation’s plant in Blakely, Georgia and it led to the death of the company.

The bad product

The bad product

Apart from Parnel and his brother, 41 year old Mary Wilkerson who worked as Manager, Quality Control was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Interestingly here in Nigeria, the NAFDAC raid at the premises of Chocalat Royal and Amin Mousalli’s home found that of all food products/source material had expired – the oldest since 2004 and the newest in 2013. There were maggots found in some. 90% of the products were not labelled in English, and therefore were not registered by NAFDAC. Illegal cold rooms were found in the building and in the MD – Amin Moussalli‘s house. The contaminated food products were stored in cold rooms on top of sewage (‘suck away’ pit) and in front of toilets.

The foreign chefs arrested in Mousalli’s home gave chilling insight into the business practices – they knew the products were expired but still went ahead to make them.

Amin Mousalli: His home had 11 year expired products used by Chocolat Royale

Amin Mousalli: His home had 11 year expired products used by Chocolat Royale

The expired products, some with maggots used by Chocolat Royale

The expired products, some with maggots used by Chocolat Royale

On interrogation, the jittery cooks who identified themselves as John

Elias Mousalli, Chairperson,Chocolat Royal

Elias Mousalli, Chairperson,Chocolat Royal walking free

Gbokasa and David from Benin Republic confirmed to NAFDAC officials that the House belongs to Mr Moussali and that the fake, unregistered and expired food products found inside two cold rooms were for Chocolat Royal.

“I know that the products have expired, some, 2004, 2006, 2009, but I am a cook and I take instruction from my boss,” David said.

“Anytime they need some products to prepare edibles at Chocolat Royal, they come here with van and mine is to give them key to take whatever they want and after they finish taken the items, they will return the key to me,” John added.

They however begged the NAFDAC officials not to arrest them but wait until their boss, Mr Moussalli who absconded and is still at large or the wife who they said was out of the country return. NAFDAC however, turn down their plea and arrested the two. Weeks after this incident, Chocalat Royale was surprisingly reopened

In statement by Elias Mousalli, who addressed herself as Chairperson, to announce its reopening, she said “Dear friends of Chocolat Royal:
My family has lived in Nigeria for three generations since 1886. Chocolat Royal grew from a dream I had, of providing a melting pot for Nigerians from different walks of life to interact and enjoy cuisines and flavours from across the globe.

“Today, we cater to hundreds of families including my own children, grand children, their friends and our personnel, who are among the first line service users at Chocolat Royal. Chocolat Royal has been recognized as a global brand through several awards, including: The International Star for Quality (Geneva – 2003), The World Quality Commitment (Paris – 2007) and the Quality Crown (London – 2010)

“Therefore the unfortunate closure of our business outlets on Tuesday, 19th May, 2015 was neither as a result of any harmful incidence nor ill-intention. There has never been any record of such in our 21 years of award-winning service to our customers and friends. Thus, some sensational reports in a section of the media do not truly portray who we are, and what we stand for.

“We are grateful to you, our loyal customers and friends who have inundated us with enquiries. We appreciate your concern and patience. We are thrilled, as we know you all are, to announce to you that Chocolat Royal has been authorized to reopen “

She did not  explain how expired products were found at their 267A Etim Inyang Crescent facility and at the Mousalli home-and interestingly NAFDAC had not given any reason for reopening  their various outlets in Lagos despite the startling discovery of this large scale unwholesome practices and contamination.

 

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