VILNIUS, Feb 01, BNS – A crime has been committed in Poland and it involved not only specific companies but also suppliers and intermediaries, Lithuanian European Commissioner for Health and Foods Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis says after Poland exported unsafe beef to Lithuania and other EU member states.

In his words, this incident shows a lack of proper veterinary control.

"Criminal activity took place, and now Polish prosecutors have launched criminal proceedings and will have to identify the participants and the whole shadow economy. Obviously, not one slaughterhouse was involved, there should have been also suppliers, and those who acted as intermediaries," Andriukaitis told BNS Lithuania.

An audit is now underway in Poland, he said, aimed at finding out where else unsafe meat could have been exported.

Inspectors from the Lithuanian State Food and veterinary Service have found out that 80 kg of meat from the Polish meat processing company Zaklad Miesny have been bought by Lithuania's Bidfood Lietuva and Krekenavos Agrofirma. The meat has already been destroyed.

All in all, around 2,400 tons of meat have been exported to EU counties, according to Andriukaitis. According to the Polish veterinary service, unsafe beef of unclear origin has also been sold not only in Poland but also Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Lithuania.

The European Commission has already ordered for the unsafe beef to be removed from the market.

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