The horsemeat scandal is yet to hit Belgian supermarkets, but nevertheless consumers there are worried by developments in France and Britain.
Shoppers in Brussels say they are now taking extra care.
“We have no idea what to eat anymore. They are playing around with consumers. They could give us anything and we wouldn’t know,” one woman told euronews.
But others doubt whether regulators can really crack down on bogus products.
Another shopper told euronews that parliamentarians don’t have the stomach for a fight with big multinationals.
“We have to go after the big food conglomerates. There’s a lot of money at stake, but that’s when politicians lose their bottle and let things go,” he said.
Consumer groups say cutbacks have led to weaker quality controls in the food sectors.
Monique Goyens of the European Consumers’ Organisation said the economic downturn was forcing companies “to make savings on quality control procedures.”
“Yet as soon as a scandal erupts, consumer confidence in the food sector evaporates and it costs a lot more to win that back, much more than a proper system of quality control,” she said.
The European Commission has just unveiled proposals to ‘beef up’ food safety rules in the EU.
But for many shoppers, it’s simply shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.