The presence of E. Coli bacteria in “a very limited batch” of minced beef intended for Colruyt was detected during an internal check, “which shows that the procedure works very well”, Pascal François, spokesman for Viande de Liège, a company that specialises in the processing of meat said on Monday. “A very low presence of E. Coli was observed on Friday 26 April, and the information was immediately communicated to Colruyt, who considered it useful to withdraw these products as a precautionary measure,” said Viande de Liège in a statement. “It is also important to remember that cooking eliminates all risks,” added François. According to the latter, this type of bacteria can come from a slaughtering procedure or from the animal itself.
“This shows that the investments made by Viande de Liège in a more rigorous control procedure have been effective,” the spokesman said. The company (formerly Derwa) had risked losing its operating licence last year due to management problems. Since then, money had been reinvested, particularly in strengthening control procedures.
The origin of the problem is being studied at the slaughterhouse in Liège, where the meat concerned originated, its director, Tony Jolet, told Belga on Monday.
“We have not yet received the composition of the batch in question but further analysis will be carried out and staff training provided”, as the origin of the bacterium could be the slaughterhouse. “There are several possible causes: staff hygiene, operating errors,” added Jolet. The slaughterhouse in Liège will also notify its suppliers.
Several batches of minced meat products and fresh beef were recalled on Saturday at 95 butcher shops in Colruyt, Belgium.