Dutch Safety Council Calls Out Meat Industry For Being 'Untransparent'

The Dutch safety institute is poised to publish a damning report about food safety in the meat industry, the Dutch news source Telegraaf reported this week. The report by the Onderzoeksraad voor de Veiligheid says there are serious shortcomings in food industry supervision which pose a risk to food safety, the paper says.

In particular, the report is critical of the lack of transparency in the meat trade, using the example of how a supermarket hamburger or meatball could have been handled by three or four different meat processors and the origin of the meat is often untraceable.

The Telegraaf says the industry itself is waiting for the report, following a string of food safety scandals over the past year including beef contaminated with horse and feces and salmonella in salmon.

Last year some 60,000 people suffered salmonella poisoning in the Netherlands, according to  Telegraaf. Yet the number of NVWA food safety inspectors has been 'eaten away' over the past few years. Earlier this month, the head of the NVWA told the Financieele Dagblad there has been a disturbing number of incidents involving food in the Netherlands and meat product producers in particular have a lack of ethical awareness.

"It has become normal to go as far as you can and hope you won’t get caught and that shows a blurring of standards," the organization’s director Harry Paul told the Financieele Dagblad. "This has led to a number of serious shortcomings which delivers serious risks for the near future as well."

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