In addition, the meat processor which cannot be named by the NVWA, asked its customers to ignore instructions to withdraw products from the market.
This was deemed a violation of the Commodities Act in which a food business is obliged to withdraw food from the market if there are reasons to believe that it does not comply with food safety regulations.
If companies do not cooperate with such a recall, it is a violation of the Commodities Act and the NVWA can impose sanctions.
In a statement, the NVWA said: “The NVWA takes this matter seriously. Because according to the NVWA there is intent in this case and the company has a turnover of more than €10m, it was decided to impose a turnover-related fine of more than €500,000. It is the first time that the NVWA imposes such a turnover-related fine on a company. The company can still object to this fine.”
In 2018, the NVWA traced the source of a contamination of pork with Salmonella Goldcoast to a pig slaughterhouse. This concerned pork had been sold in the period from 4 June to 24 October 2018.
The investigation was sparked due to more patients with Salmonella Goldcoast than usual were reported during the summer of 2018.
The NVWA stated that as of 4 December, 2018, there were 19 patients with this type of Salmonella Goldcoast in the Netherlands, reported between the beginning of July and the beginning of November 2018. Normally, the Salmonella Goldcoast results in around eight reported sick people a year.
These patients were linked to a specific slaughterhouse via logistics lines and DNA typing. The relevant slaughterhouse took measures in October of that year to prevent a possible recurrence and the NVWA initiated an extensive tracing campaign for all pork from this slaughterhouse in the period 4 June to 24 October inclusive which led them to the company in question.