Slovenia's food safety agency ordered the recall of 12 tonnes of kebab beef imported by a Slovenian distributor from Poland, Slovenian daily Vecer reported on Wednesday, adding that some of the suspect meat had in the meantime been exported to restaurants in Croatia and Hungary.
Vecer said that the meat which originated in Poland had been imported and distributed on the Slovenian market by a local company called Alebon, and that the 12 tonnes of suspect meat was recalled upon recommendation by Poland's authorities.
However, the meat from Poland had already been delivered to over 40 fast food restaurants in Slovenia, as well as to customers in Croatia and Hungary, Vecer reported.
"There is still no official notice from Polish institutions, and Slovenian analyses have shown that the recalled meat contains traces of Ketoprofen, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug. Since the drug usually breaks down and disappears from the animal's body within 24 hours after being administered, this means that cows had been given the drug just before going to slaughter, which is prohibited," Vecer said.
Also on Wednesday, Croatia's Health Ministry said their inspectors had located undisclosed amounts of the meat in question at three fast food restaurants in the country, but added that the shipments were recalled before any of it was served to customers.
The producer of the recalled kebab meat is the Polish company Efes-pol Fedai Simsek based in Zlotkowo. Vecer also reported that tests done on the meat in Slovenia have also confirmed traces of salmonella.
Earlier this month, an investigative report by Polish broadcaster TVN showed videos of sick cows treated cruelly before being slaughtered in an abattoir in Poland which regularly exported beef to at least 11 other EU countries. Polish authorities closed the slaughterhouse and issued a EU-wide alert, with food agencies in several countries tracking down and seizing suspect meat.
Slovenia was also recently shaken by a scandal involving the discovery of an illegal slaughterhouse which produced and sold meat of old horses formerly used for harness racing, a popular form of equestrian sport where horses race around the track pulling a two-wheeled cart occupied by a driver.
The public outcry led to growing demands for stricter controls of meat imports, and for changes in the food procurement regulations for large public institutions such as hospitals, retirement homes, and schools, as they generally tend to simply select suppliers offering lowest prices.
The parliament's agriculture committee held an urgent session on the matter, and decided to support these demands, recommending new regulations to increase the share of meat produced at safe local slaughterhouses on the domestic market, and also to encourage consumers to buy Slovenian-made meat, including ordering restaurants to indicate clearly on their menus where their meat has been sourced from.