Albert Heijn acknowledges it has been ‘sloppy’ with announcing listeria contamination
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    Albert Heijn acknowledges it has been ‘sloppy’ with announcing listeria contamination

    The pilot project was supposed to be assessed after two weeks, but Albert Heijn decided to scrap it immediately. Credit: Wikipedia

    Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has been severely criticised in the Netherlands for publicly calling customers to stop consuming meat products that may have been contaminated with listeria only on Sunday.

    On Friday, the Dutch meat production company Offerman called back several of its meat products because they could have been contaminated with the listeria bacteria.

    According to the NOS, the Dutch Broadcast Foundation, supermarket chain Albert Heijn preemptively took several meat products off the shelves on Friday, and posted a message in its stores, but did not publicly warn the customers to not eat the products.

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    In a reaction, Albert Heijn acknowledges that it has been ‘sloppy’, reports Het Nieuwsblad. On Sunday, the chain publicly asked its customers not to eat the products they had purchased and to return them to the store.

    Extensive research by the Dutch health authorities showed that at least three people had died and one woman had suffered a miscarriage as a result of eating the contaminated meat in recent years.

    The listeria meat contamination at Offerman has major consequences for its parent company, the East Flemish meat product manufacturer Ter Beke. The company announced a profit warning, a statement issued by a company advising the stock market that profits will be lower than expected, on Monday morning.

    According to the business newspaper De Tijd, the market value of the company has fallen by €50 million since last Friday.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times