Heineken will face no sanctions after some of its products were mislabelled and sold as craft beer in a small number of pubs around Ireland, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
A joint investigation between the FSAI and HSE was launched last month after Heineken Ireland had reportedly sold products, such as Foster's, as being 'locally produced' beers called Blasket Blonde and Beanntraí Bru. Other mislabelled Heineken products included stouts from Beamish and Murphy's, as well as Tipperary-based C&C drinks company selling its Clonmel 1650 lager as 'Pana Cork' in Co Cork pubs, reports The Sunday Times.
The FSAI and HSE released a statement which said that they had "investigated the various complaints made and are satisfied that where necessary appropriate action was taken by the implicated food businesses by either ceasing the practice of marketing beer under names which incorrectly suggest a local provenance, or amending labelling and marketing information".
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Neither company will face penalties but the FSAI and HSE added that it "will continue to monitor the situation" as will the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Heineken Ireland had appointed Grant Thornton, an external firm, to investigate and "help us understand" how some of its "low-volume high-quality draught products" had been mislabelled. However, the company commented that it had nothing to add to the FSAI statement.
Last month C&C had said that "no product has been mis-sold as craft [beer], and all of C&C's products are fully compliant with FSAI regulations".
Although it is thought that only Beamish, Murphy's and Foster's were sold under craft beer-style names in Cork and Kerry, pubs around the country were found to be selling the same beers as "house" brews. Heineken Ireland previously commented that the practice of mislabelling beers was not its policy and "accordingly, this practice has been stopped", adding that "this should not have happened".