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Dutch Firm Fined for Lack of Cooperation in Pork Recall
USAgNet - 01/27/2020

A meat processing company in the Netherlands has been fined for not fully cooperating in 2018 during a recall of pork possibly contaminated with Salmonella.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) imposed the fine of more than 500,000 ($552,000) as the firm took "insufficient measures" to withdraw pork that could have been contaminated with Salmonella Goldcoast.

A business is obliged to withdraw food from the market if there are reasons to believe that it does not comply with food safety regulations.

The meat processor also asked customers to ignore instructions from the NVWA to withdraw products from the market, according to the agency.

An NVWA spokesman told Food Safety News that the law in the Netherlands does not allow the agency to name the company.

Because there was intent, in the NVWA's opinion, and the company has a turnover of more than 10 million ($11 million) a turnover-related fine was imposed. It is the first time the NVWA has imposed such a fine on a company but the business can still object to the penalty.

At the end of 2018, NVWA traced the source of contaminated pork with Salmonella Goldcoast to a pig slaughterhouse. Potentially tainted pork was sold from early June to late October 2018.

Water temperature at the slaughterhouse was lowered from 68 degrees C (154 degrees F) to 48 degrees C (118 degrees F), creating conditions for bacteria development. The 68 degrees C temperature was reinstated in October to prevent a possible recurrence of contamination.

NVWA started a tracing campaign for all pork from the slaughterhouse from early June to late October.

All involved companies to which pork was supplied, including the fined meat processing company, had to withdraw the products in which the pork was processed. If firms do not cooperate with such a recall it is a violation of the law and NVWA can impose sanctions.

The associated Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) alert on Salmonella in pig meat from the Netherlands lists 60 countries being potentially affected including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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