Bratislava, April 1 (TASR) – Consumers in Slovakia should have the right to know the country of origin of food they buy at shops and facilities providing meals, the co-governing Slovak National Party (SNS) has stated in response to the Brazilian rotten meat scandal.
“Practices such as the refining of spoiled meat with chemicals before supplying it to consumers are unacceptable in our country and the whole of Europe,” stated SNS.
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (an SNS nominee) described the scandal as huge, pointing out that Slovakia began acting immediately after it erupted.
“We halted the sales [of Brazilian meat] and began performing tests as the first country in the European Union,” said Matecna, who on Friday announced that inspectors found Brazilian meat tainted with salmonella in Bratislava.
“As much as 21,000 kilograms of this spoiled Brazilian meat was imported into Slovakia via the Netherlands and Poland. Our veterinary inspectors immediately ordered this meat to be withdrawn, as it had been distributed to as many as 54 restaurants throughout the country. Considering the serious nature of this situation, we decided along with [Health] Minister [Tomas] Drucker to appeal to Slovak consumers to remember that we have only one state of health, so we should invest in it, instead of looking only at prices,” said the agriculture minister.
As part of preventive measures, the Slovak Agriculture Ministry immediately halted the sale of Brazilian meat in the country.
Slovak inspectors so far haven’t found any of the chemical substances that were allegedly used in Brazil to mask rotten meat, however.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Embassy to Slovakia also on Friday noted that those who were involved in irregularities with meat production in Brazil have been punished in an exemplary manner.
Of the 4,837 approved meat processing plants, the Brazilian and European authorities have banned imports for 21 facilities, which represent 0.43 percent of the overall figure.
“No case involving health complications following the consumption of Brazilian meat monitored by the health authorities of the [Brazilian] Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) has been registered in Brazil or abroad to date,” stated the embassy.
The Brazilian meat industry maintains its high quality standards with strict phytosanitary controls. The main Asian markets, which originally halted meat imports from Brazil in response to reports of irregularities, have already restored them following the necessary explanations, stated the Brazilian Embassy.