Hygiene in French abattoirs called ‘apocalyptic’

06-05-2008 | |

About a quarter of the meat that is sold in France was not processed in slaughter plants that meet European requirements on hygiene, the weekly journal Le Point recently reported on the basis of a secret report of the French department of food safety (DGAL).

In almost half of the abattoirs for poultry and rabbits and in 42% of the pig, cattle and calves hygiene issues were at stake, the magazine added.
“The situation in the slaughterhouses can sometimes be called apocalyptic,” can be read in Le Point, giving a black list of 23 plants where hygiene is the worst of all.
DGAL, however, says the accusations are false. “The veterinary services only research the animals upon arrival in the slaughterhouses and check the carcasses’ veterinary quality upon departure,” vice-director Monique Eloit said.
“Only 19 out of 333 French abattoirs, altogether responsible for 1% of the total amount of processed meat, are in the lowest category of the French hygiene scheme.”
DGAL emphasisd that 59 French slaughterhouses have been closed in the last five years, for economic or hygiene reasons. In addition, the service called on their regional directors to increase the checks on smaller slaughterhouses in order to meet the hygiene measures demanded by the EU.
This initiative follows an admonition from the European agency for animal health that the situation in France in this respect has to improve.
Related website:
Le Point (French)