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article image'Salmonella-tainted' Polish beef found by Czech vets

By AFP     Feb 20, 2019 in World

Czech authorities said Wednesday they would slap checks on beef imported from Poland after veterinarians found the dangerous Salmonella bacteria in a 700-kilogramme batch of Polish beef.

"Tests have shown the presence of Salmonella enteritidis, which can cause serious diarrhoea and affect human health, in beef imported from Poland on February 13," Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman told reporters.

Czech veterinary authorities have warned the European Commission and Polish authorities through a rapid warning system, he said, adding that they are also checking whether any of the meat has been consumed.

"The State Veterinary Administration (SVS) will immediately adopt an extraordinary measure -- all beef imported from Poland must be tested in a lab before hitting the market," Toman added.

SVS head Zbynek Semerad said meat from the 700-kilo (1,500-pound) batch had been distributed to five "places" in the Czech Republic and one in Slovakia.

"I will inform my Slovak counterpart. As far as we know, not all of the meat has been distributed to the end customer," Semerad said.

The case comes on the heels of a scandal which saw Poland export a total of 2.7 tonnes of suspect beef to around a dozen fellow EU members, triggering an EU probe.

The scandal erupted in January when the TVN24 commercial news channel aired footage of apparently sick or lame cows being butchered at a small slaughterhouse in northeast Poland in secret late at night when veterinary authorities were unlikely to visit.

Poland is a leading producer and exporter of meat in Europe, turning out around 600,000 tonnes of beef per year and exporting most of it mainly to the EU, according to meat producer associations.

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