Flemish abattoir also sold out of date meat to Kosovo

It has emerged that the Veviba abattoir in the Walloon town of Bastogne (Luxembourg province) is not the only Belgian abattoir to have sold out of date meat to customers in Kosavo. The Vanlommel abattoir in Olen (Antwerp province) also exported out of date meat to the Balkan country. The abattoir claims that this was as a result of human error rather than a case of deliberate deception. The Judicial Authorities were made aware of incident in January, a few months after the meat was intercepted by the Kosovan Food Standards Agency.

It was the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF that broke the news that the scandal surrounding Veviba was not an isolated case. RTBF reports that another Belgian meat company, the Vanlommel abattoir in Olen, sold out-of-date meat to a Kosovan meat wholesaler in August 2017.

The Kosovan wholesale is the same wholesaler that is implicated in the Veviba case.

A spokesman for the Kosovan Food Standards Agency told RTBF that last summer 20kg of frozen veal from an abattoir in Olen was seized at Kosovo’s border with Albania. Some of the meat was out of date.

The Vanlommel abattoir is keen to stress that this came about as a result of human error. “We take full responsibility”.

"The meat has been destroyed and the customers has been compensated”. The Vanlommel abattoir adds that "The labelling was correct, but it is true that the meat was beyond its consumer by date.

Vanlommel’s Commercial Director Johan Heylen told VRT News that this is not a case of deliberate deception.

"There was labelling fraud as the original labels were still on the meat. However, there was human error that allowed two pallets of the meat to be unintentionally shipped”.

The two pallets were part of a shipment of 20 tonnes of meat to Kosovo.

"There were two pallets of meat that expired in July that were shipped in error”, Mr Heylen adds.

"The meat that can be kept for two years was three weeks out of date”.

"The pallets were at the back of the trailer. The pallets at the back of the trailer are always the first to be checked at the border. This proves that we didn’t set out to deliberately deceive”, Mr Heylen said.

This of course begs the question of how such an error could occur.
"We have launched an internal investigation and spoken to the person that did this”. Mr Heylen concluded by saying that this is the first time that his company has been caught making such a mistake.