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Food safety: Toys are also on the poison list

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Food safety: Toys are also on the poison list

Health list of hygiene inspectors

From germ-infected poultry to toxic children’s toys

Status: 28.11.2023 | Reading time: 3 minutes

Official veterinarians have found various diarrhea pathogens in poultry meat

Quelle: picture alliance / dpa

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Year after year, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection compiles a highly unsavory list: those hygiene deficiencies that official veterinarians find during their inspections. In addition to poultry meat, there were also things that have a place in children’s rooms.

Whether it’s a sausage stand, animal stable or kindergarten: when it comes to hygiene, official veterinarians are responsible. Yesterday in Berlin, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) presented what the officially appointed veterinarians found during their checks. The list not only makes you lose your appetite – but even the desire to look at picture books with your children.

A big problem: fresh poultry meat. Over 61 percent of duck and 46 percent of chicken products were contaminated with the diarrhea pathogen Campylobacter. When tested for salmonella, a reportable cause of intestinal infections, one in 20 samples tested positive. It was the first time that the fattening ducks, which are so popular during the Christmas season, were included in the monitoring.

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Infections with Campylobacter and Salmonella usually go away on their own after a few days. However, more severe cases can also occur. The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety therefore recommends thoroughly cleaning all surfaces in the kitchen that came into contact with it. And any type of poultry meat should only be consumed thoroughly heated.

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Not only meat, but also blackened, loose olives were noticeable in the inspections. Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) proven. Consumption leads to blood poisoning and purulent meningitis, especially in older people and people with weakened immune systems.

The bacterium is also dangerous for pregnant women because the infection can result in a miscarriage. “Pregnant women, immunocompromised people and old people should therefore avoid eating loose olives,” recommends Andrea Luger, head of the food safety department at the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety.

Speaking of small children: The 2022 monitoring no longer only included food inspections, but also, for the first time, the inspections of 99 picture books and 67 large-sized puzzle games made of cardboard or cardboard.

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The inspectors looked at the extent to which the toy was contaminated with chloropropanols. The books and games were declared for children under three years of age. In this age group, they still put everything in their mouths all the time; Chloropropanols are water-soluble and can enter the body through saliva. They are considered carcinogenic.

So-called assessment values ​​combine the amount of a substance absorbed with the risk posed by this amount. The assessment value for chloropropanol 1,3-DCP was exceeded in 16.1 percent of the samples examined, and the value for 3-MCPD was exceeded in 10.8 percent.

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The highest excess: 129 times the dose that would be safe. “These results are absolutely unacceptable,” explains Federal Office President Friedel Cramer. “Manufacturers and retailers are required to minimize the occurrence of these critical substances,” he says. Cancer-causing chloropropanols are technically avoidable.

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The online menus of delivery services were also put to the test. Of the 1,273 catering establishments inspected, one in two did not correctly note allergy-causing substances, and almost as many did not mention additives that they should have named.

This could all be the tip of an iceberg. When asked, the Federal Office admitted that there was also a lack of control frequencies in the districts. “There are always deficits,” says a spokesman. And assured that at least “all important” checks would be carried out.

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