INTECMAR confirmed the control system strictly met the steps set by the current legislation. (Photo: diariodearousa/FIS)
Health alert in France due to Galician mussels
Friday, August 22, 2014, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
More than 60 people were poisoned in France after consuming mussels native to Galicia, forcing local authorities to issue a health alert.
While the Secretariat of Marine Affairs of Xunta de Galicia confirmed the cases that took place in French territory, it did not specify the exact origin of the molluscs.
What is confirmed is that the bivalve came from different parts of the Galician coast, reports the newspaper La Voz de Galicia.
Consumers apparently had diarrhea after eating Spanish mussels affected by lipophilic biotoxins, including diarrheal toxin (DSP).
On Tuesday, the French government released the health alert through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), which has a computer network used by the authorities of the European Union (EU) to control food and exchange data on the measures taken following the detection of a risk.
France also contacted the Spanish Agency for Consumer, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN), under the Ministry of Health, to inform about the finding of the batch in poor condition.
Meanwhile, from the Galician Government it was indicated that no more data will be released at the moment because the corresponding reports will be issued.
"The health alert refers to poisoning due to bivalve molluscs from Spain that were withdrawn from the market. Immediately, the Secretariat of Marine Affairs provided all the requested data concerning the traceability of all the batches sent to French operators," the authority informed.
"From the Technological Institute for the Control of the Marine Environment (INTECMAR) we have confirmed that the control system strictly fulfilled the steps established by the current legislation," it was added.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of Marine Affairs, Juan Maneiro, stressed that "it is necessary to demonstrate that the food, for example, was not poisoned on the journey, or while being cooked, or from ingredients that accompanied it."
He recalled there was a history of sanitary alerts with France that led to the suspension of mollusc exports, "but in the end, they could not demonstrate that it was connected to mussels, let alone from Galicia."
What is important now is to know the exact origin of the batch in question to track it and determine if the cause of the alleged poisoning comes from the Galician coast, Maneiro stressed.
- Galician mussels return to French market
By Analia Murias