Following an initial investigation, the FASFC immediately withdrew approval of its two Veviba units, namely the meat processing plant and the cold store intended for product storage in Bastogne.
In late February and early March, a search of the Veviba site was conducted by 20 FASFC staff, accompanied by 41 police officers.
According to FASFC, findings of “non-compliance with the food legislation on many of the products present” justified the sealing of all products in the warehouse.
In terms of these meat processing activities, the FASFC identified two specific products where a potential health risk existed: minced meat and cow's tail sold to other companies.
These products were being withdrawn from the market in Belgium and any affected distribution companies had been asked to make product recalls when necessary.
Major retailers in the country have made a precautionary withdrawal of all Veviba products they received. However, with the exception of some minced meat from Veviba, fresh meat currently on sale in Belgium is not affected by the problem. The FASFC said it would continue to keep the public informed as progress was made on the issue, and would take the necessary steps to inform and protect consumers.
The FASFC added that it had “taken all measures to ensure that products with a potential impact on the health of consumers are removed from the market”.
The FASFC said it was in close contact with the distribution sector and companies identified as customers of Veviba. Information on potentially risky products had been communicated to these companies, asking them at the same time to make the necessary product recalls, it added.
Communication to foreign authorities and customers was also ongoing.