Diseased meat for human consumption. Watch the full report by "Superwizjer" TVN
Poland's Chief Veterinarian has ordered controls in slaughterhouses after secret filming, by "Superwizjer" TVN journalists, broadcast at the weekend showed a company butchering sick cows and selling their meat for human consumption.
Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year, with 85 percent exported to countries including Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.
Consumer concerns about food safety have increased after an undercover reporter from "Superwizjer" TVN got a job in a slaughterhouse in an undisclosed area in Poland's Masovian region where he was ordered to kill cows and butcher their meat.
The footage showed sick cows being transported to the slaughterhouse and preparation of their carcasses, with recorded conversations between employees discussing the poor quality of the meat.
According to statements released on the Chief Veterinarian Officer's website, the agency has withdrawn approval for the slaughterhouse to operate and ordered immediate inspections in close cooperation with the police.
Meat producers played down the scale of the problem, while admitting that the case revealed by journalists should sound alarm bells when it comes to the system of the veterinary control in slaughterhouses.
Janusz Rodziewicz, head of meats lobby SRiWRP, said that the problem was confined to the one slaughterhouse shown in the report and that 99.9 percent of meat processing plants are not involved in illegal practices.
He also said that all veterinarians working at meat processing factories should be paid by the state, rather than by private companies, to ensure they are independent.