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At least 150kg of spoiled meat from Poland sold to consumers in France: Agriculture minister

At least 150kg of spoiled meat from Poland sold to consumers in France: Agriculture minister
Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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At least 150kg of spoiled meat from Poland sold to consumers in France, the French agriculture minister said on Friday.


At least 150kg of the 795kg of spoiled meat from Poland was sold to consumers in France, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.

500kg was destroyed on Friday afternoon and 150kg was sold to consumers mostly by butcher shops, said the ministry.

The butcher shops in question have placed placards outside their stores to inform their clients, added the statement.

The rest of the spoiled meat was found by French authorities on Saturday. Some of it had been sold to consumers in the Ile-de-France, Ille-et-Vilaine(Brittany) and Loiret area near Paris. 

"The 145 kg that remained were bought by wholesale dealers, butcher shops, and restaurants," said the ministry on Saturday. 

The ministry became aware of the spoiled meat situation on Wednesday when the European press broke the story and a warning was sent out by the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

It came after revelations that a Polish abattoir was slaughtering sick cows and selling the meat for consumption.

Footage from a Polish TV report showed sick and mistreated cows being killed in slaughterhouses.

Investigators have identified nine companies who were “duped” into buying the meat, said Guillaume in a press release.

Food control services carried out investigations in the nine companies aimed at finding the rest of the meat and recalling it in order to protect consumers, said the statement.

These companies don't sell the meat directly, said the ministry.

According to Poland's chief veterinarian Pawel Niemczuk, 2.7 tonnes of meat from the sick cows were exported to ten EU countries.

The countries affected were France, Sweden, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Lithuania and Slovakia, he said.

Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year and exports 85% of that number.

The European Commission said on Friday that it will send an investigation team to Poland next week.

"A team of European Commission auditors are being deployed to Poland on Monday to assess the situation on the ground," a Commission spokesperson said during a press conference, adding that the problem may concern 14 EU countries in total.

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