An inspection undertaken by two inspectors from the Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (known as “AFSCA”) in the Mons association “Mimi Solidarité” went awry on Monday evening. The association distributes food to the less well-off. AFSCA showed its solidarity with the inspectors (both women) who were attacked.
The local press indicated that matters are thought to have become heated when one of the association volunteers started to take photos of the inspection. The police officers, who accompanied the inspectors, may have wanted to bring a camera and the situation may have got out of hand. AFSCA sent a message of solidarity with its two inspectors and the policewoman involved in the altercation by communiqué.
The agency communiqué stated, “The Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety is eager to send a message of support to its two inspectors, as well as a policewoman, who were struck and hit yesterday in the Mons police zone during an inspection. Our two employees are in a state of shock.”
It went on, “Fundamentally consumers, who had fallen ill, alerted us to serious problems within a charity within the Mons police zone. Information in our possession appears to indicate that some members of the association are obtaining out-of-date foodstuffs in bins and are redistributing them to the less well-off.”
Earlier in the year, AFSCA had already asked the manager of the association to attend at its offices to explain some of the major principles of public health, and to remind her that it is illegal to distribute foodstuffs which place public health in danger.
The communiqué went on, “AFSCA is annoyed that an individual living in poverty can receive out-of-date foodstuffs, either from bins or that is poorly preserved. AFSCA is also annoyed that employees, whose job is to guarantee consumer health, can be attacked in this way.”
Furthermore, the federal Minister of Agriculture, Denis Ducarme, “personally contacted the two inspectors to express his support and to mention how the work of inspectors on the ground is indissociable from the protection of consumer health and entails compliance.”
Moreover, AFSCA has indicated that a legal complaint has been lodged. Contacted by Belga, the Mons Public Prosecutor’s Offiice indicated that it had not been informed of the case.