World Cup 2014: Brazil seizes spoiled food at team hotels, report claims

Picture of the Royal Tulip Hotel in Sao Conrado neighborhood, south zone of the city, which will host the England national football team during the World Cup 2014, on May 21, 2014, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazilian health officials raided hotels where at least two visiting national teams will be staying for the World Cup, confiscating expired food, according to reports.

With teams due to start arriving in Brazil for the tournament next week, and to start playing games in a little over two weeks, health officials raided hotels that will be hosting England and Italy, Agence France Press reports.

"The checks were carried out as part of our drive to see food safety codes enforced as part of a round of inspections being undertaken given the close proximity of the World Cup," Fabio Domingos, head of inspections at Rio de Janeiro state consumer protection agency Procon, told AFP Tuesday.

Some of the food confiscated included long-expired shrimp and salmon.

Procon told AFP other hotels would be checked as "teams and fans are all consumers, and we are acting for their benefit."

Many of the teams will be bringing their own food and chefs.

Procon told AFP customs at airports would monitor what food was imported as well as its quality.

The latest revelation adds to the long list of concerns about Brazil's readiness to host the world's largest sporting event.

Even Sepp Blatter, FIFA's president, called the country's preparations the worst he's seen in his 40 years at the international governing body of soccer.

"No country has been so far behind in preparations since I have been at FIFA, even though it is the only host nation which has had so much time - seven years - in which to prepare," Blatter said earlier this year, according to the Telegraph.

Last year's Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament held in Brazil, was marked by violent protests against the government. More are expected next month during the World Cup, although FIFA and local organizers have pledged to try to prevent the tournament from being affected.

Also adding to its woes, Brazilian officials have been accused of corruption and waste during the construction of the many stadiums being either built or revamped for the tournament.

Despite the many setbacks, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has put on a confident face. In response to criticism from Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo, Rousseff said there is no cause for concern.

"I am sure that our country will put on the Cup of Cups," Rousseff said in a speech in Brasilia, without naming Ronaldo directly. "I am proud of our accomplishments. We have no reason to be ashamed and we don't have an inferiority complex."