Listeria contamination and false reports, maxi seizure in Italy

 After the wave of cases of listeriosis that hit Italy (90 hospitalized, 3 deaths), the Ministero della Salute (Ministry of Health) has ordered investigations throughout the country to verify the correct management of safety and hygiene of companies producing food of animal origin.

The outcome of the operation, conducted by the Carabinieri NAS, is certainly worrying:
- 14 tons of food seized, for a total value of over 300.000 euro;
- 23 companies suspended or at risk of closure;
- irregularities detected in 335 structures ( almost a third of the total);
- 310 operators reported to the judicial and health authorities;
- 541 criminal and administrative violations.

Among the critical issues found there are the use of raw materials in poor condition or expired, and the failure to apply preventive procedures for self-control and traceability of food, necessary to identify and contain possible cases of intoxication caused by the consumption of harmful or dangerous foods.

Another serious discovery was the production (also by accredited laboratories) of false reports attesting untruthful analyzes, never performed on food.