Truffles Worth GBP 65,000 Turn Rotten After Dozy Smugglers Failed To Refrigerate Them

Customs have seized more than 100 lbs of rotten black truffles valued at over GBP 65,000 after a group of dozy smugglers failed to properly refrigerate them.

Officials sniffed out the 52 kilogrammes (114 lbs) of spoiled truffles once their unmistakable scent wafted through the air at Vienna International Airport, in Schwechat, Austria, earlier this month.

The truffles were reportedly tucked within two packages originating from Kosovo and en route to Slovakia and uncovered during a special inspection, said the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Finance Minister Magnus Brunner, 52, said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “Our customs officers play a crucial role in protecting public health and safety.

“Only goods that are declared and comply with EU standards are allowed to enter the European market.”

However, as the cold chain was interrupted during the shipment, the truffles considered a luxurious culinary delicacy and admired for their unique flavours, were deemed unfit for consumption.

The ministry said: “The customs officers consulted the border veterinarian, who confirmed that the truffles were not registered in the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES).

“This meant that the required Common Health Entry Document (CHED), which is used to declare consignments of live animals, foodstuffs, and goods of animal and non-animal origin for import control, was missing.

“The truffles, which were no longer edible, were confiscated and destroyed by the Austrian customs office.”

Valued at EUR 6,500 (GBP 5,535) in Slovakia, black truffles would be priced significantly higher, potentially reaching up to GBP 67,600 in the UK, where prices typically range around GBP 1,300 per kilogramme.

A single 50-gramme piece would therefore cost around GBP 65, according to reports.


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