WARSAW (Good Medical) – Polish authorities will install cameras in slaughterhouses and will use more health inspectors to prevent exports of contaminated beef to other EU countries, the government said on Thursday. chief veterinarian Pawel Niemczuk, after a newscast showed sick cows slaughtered.
A man watches meat products at a market in Gdynia, Poland. January 31, 2019. Good Medical / Matej Leskovsek
"The video surveillance will be available 24 hours a day, but there should be a person with medical and veterinary knowledge who could (be able to) come and evaluate if the animals are unloaded in accordance with the regulations," Niemczuk said.
Poland, which exports most of its meat, will spend 120 million zlotys ($ 32.3 million) over the next three years to implement these changes, spokesmen of the Polish National Veterinary Chamber.
Niemczuk said the police had opened a criminal investigation into two companies after an undercover journalist had filmed sick cows transported to the slaughterhouse where they had been abused and then killed.
The police were not immediately available to comment.
"Our neighbors asked us for details of the actions we took. I have convinced most countries that this situation in Poland was an individual case … The (contaminated meat) is voluntarily withdrawn, "Niemczuk said.
At a press conference, Pawel Niemczuk said the food processing plants had received about 9,500 kg of suspect meat from both companies. Of this total, 2,700 kilograms were sent to other EU countries, including Sweden, France and Portugal, he said.
Suspicious meat exports have also reached Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Spain, Lithuania and Slovakia, he said.
The Romanian authorities responsible for veterinary safety and food declared that no contaminated meat had been sold to consumers on the Romanian market.
Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year, of which 85% is exported.
($ 1 = 3.7194 zlotys)
Report by Alicja Ptak; Additional reports Radu-Sorin Marinas; Edited by Raissa Kasolowsky and Hugh Lawson