Czech Republic and Slovakia announced mandatory inspections of all Polish beef imports
In the past weeks, the Polish meat industry has been confronted with a beef meat scandal and salmonella problems. The beef meat scandal emerged due to broadcasting an undercover reportage by a Polish TV channel showing illegal activities of a slaughterhouse.
Following the scandal, the European Commission has sent a delegation to Poland to investigate the situation at the beginning of February. The preliminary outcome of the European Commission’s investigation shows several shortcomings, amongst others, concerning veterinary controls of slaughterhouses, traceability of meat and the use of the national cattle database. The European Commission expects improvements in several fields, and requests monthly reports on the taken actions. A final report on the findings of the European Commission within the Polish meat production chain will be published by the end of March.
The Polish Minister of Agriculture announced more severe punishments for illegal activities, intensified controls of slaughterhouses (mentioning a possible introduction of 24-hour video control systems), and reorganization of the veterinary inspection.
Additionally to the beef scandal, another issue emerged the past week, namely discovery of salmonella in batches of Polish beef to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Due to the discovery of Salmonella and the beef scandal in Poland, the Czech Republic announced extraordinary veterinary measures of all Polish beef imports (packed and unpacked). Also Slovakia introduced tempory measures requiring testing by the Slovak State Veterinary and Food Administration of each Polish beef import before it can reach the Slovak market. Measures are to be in force until the problems in the Polish veterinary system have been solved and new legislation has been implemented. Poland questions the EU conformity of the extraordinary measures by the Czech Republic and Slovakia.