Slovakia joined the widespread concern over foods contaminated with the posion dioxin, announcing on June 11 it had banned selected food imports from four European Union countries.
About 30 countries have withdrawn Belgian products in the more than two-week old crisis over dioxin contamination of some meat, eggs and dairy produce, stemming from tainted animal feed. Some states have imposed wider bans on all poultry and pork from EU nations.
Minister of Agriculture Pavol Koncoš told a news conference that Slovakia had temporarily banned imports of livestock and various meat products, eggs, milk and dairy products from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
"Apart from these commodities, a range of mainly dairy goods made in Belgium after January 15 this year will be recalled from retail," Koncoš said.
The list of 44 items, out of a total 147 Belgian products or goods containing Belgian-made ingredients certified for the Slovak market, includes chocolates, sweets, and a cream and whisky drink.
Jozef Kaláš, head of Slovakia's food inspection, said that the 44 goods banned from sale were not all necessarily available in the retail network. "We only know these goods were given certificates for the Slovak market," Kalás said. "Now our inspectors will start to check what volumes of which goods will be recalled."
Minister Koncoš added: "We will also ask the Czech, Hungarian and Polish distributors of meat products to provide a certificate that a commodity has been made from their domestic resources."
21. Jun 1999 at 0:00 | Reuters