Delhaize has decided to put its collaboration with VEVIBA and with the Verbist group on hold. Verbist owns VEVIBA, which is based in Bastogne. Delhaize withdrew all VEVIBA approvals on Wednesday. The Delhaize spokesman, Roel Dekelver, indicated moreover that all meat products from the Verbist group would be withdrawn from the supermarket’s shelves.
After the announcement by the Delhaize group to suspend collaboration with VEVIBA, Colruyt also guaranteed that products coming from the Bastogne company’s meat cutting room will now be withdrawn from sale.
Colruyt said that it is taking all “necessary measures” so as to be able to guarantee its customers “healthy and safe meat products, and to be able to prove fail-safe traceability.”
The brand says that 90% of the meat sold on its shelves is delivered in carcass form, and is cut and treated by experienced butchers within the group. Colruyt indicates, “This 90% is unaffected, and we are able to guarantee its traceability through to the supermarket shelves.”
Carrefour has indicated that the company is not one of its suppliers. However the group does work with the abattoir Adriaens from Zottegem, taken over by VEVIBA a few years ago. The Director of PR and Corporate Communication for Carrefour Belgium said, “Spot checks have taken place, several times a week, in this abattoir. There has never been any indication as to the slightest problem with the quality and safety of the abattoir’s products.”
Yesterday the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Denis Ducarme, and the Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (known as AFSCA) decided to withdraw all approvals from the company VEVIBA. Their decision follows a search conducted by an investigating judge last week on the VEVIBA site, in an abattoir, a meat cutting plant and an industrial deep freezer.
Offences observed on this occasion relate to the falsification of information as to the date given meat was frozen, and non-compliance of more than 50% of the products checked. Roel Dekelver, the spokesman from Delhaize, added, “We are now awaiting more specific advice from the AFSCA.” Colruyt was also waiting to receive the same information from the food chain safety agency.