After an enquiry initially carried out by the Trial Court of Luxembourg, and the results obtained by the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (BFASFC), faced with the suspicion of a fraud by the meat company Veviba, the Agency requested and received, last March 6th, the investigating judge’s authorisation commanding the immediate removal of the authorisations of the meat processing plant and the cold store intended for Veviba’s products storage.
In the current state of the investigation, two products have been identified and are being removed from the Belgian market: minced meat and oxtail.
By late February and early March 2018, the public prosecutor’s office carried out an investigation in Veiba’s meat processing plant located in Bastogne, finding several irregularities:
- Presence, in the cold store, of frozen meat with forged freezing dates.
- Meat not intended for human consumption, such as oxtail or minced meat. In the latter case, it was meat that had come into contact with the knife used to slit the calves’ throat, and therefore, it could contain germs. This kind of meats can only be used for animal feed.
This is a microbiological hazard. The inclusion of meat that is potentially contaminated by bacteria at higher levels than normal increase the risk of intestinal infection. This only affects meat consumed raw, whilst if these meat is cooked at an appropriate temperature it entails no risk.
In any case, oxtail is always consumed cooked, and therefore this product does not entail a direct microbiological hazard.
Thursday, March 8th, 2018/ AFSCA/ Belgium.