Korbach/Wiesbaden The potentially life-threatening germ listeria has been found several times in Wilke brand sausages and now the Hessian consumer protection ministry is saying that contaminated meat could also have been processed in other brands of prepared foods.
Meat processed by the sausage maker Wilke, which was potentially contaminated with listeria germs, may also have been processed into ready meals of other producers. This was in an answer given by the Hessian Ministry of Consumer Protection to questions from the Foodwatch organization. "If Wilke goods have been processed into finished products in the course of the trade chain, then these products were also included in the recall," said a ministry spokeswoman on Sunday. The "Bild am Sonntag" had previously reported on the subject.
The Ministry of Consumer Protection did not say which manufacturers of finished products were affected. Later, a spokeswoman explained that this could not be known: "Since Wilke has delivered to 23 EU states and other countries, we cannot rule out along this long trade chain that further processing might have taken place at some point - such goods are also affected and included by the recall.”
Listeria had been found multiple times in Wilke sausage. These germs can be life-threatening for persons with a weakened immune system. Three deaths and 37 illnesses have been linked to products from the company. The public prosecutor's office in Kassel is investigating the managing director for negligent homicide. After the closure of the company at the beginning of October, all goods had been recalled. At that time, local authorities had initially declared that other brands were not affected.
Foodwatch criticized the crisis management: "Hesse's authorities must finally name all known names of affected manufacturers, brands, products and points of sale. It is being covered up", Martin Rücker, managing director of the consumer organization, told the "Bild am Sonntag". It had to be assumed that households and supermarkets were still storing ready meals in which Wilke goods had been processed.
(Orig text: dpa; Translation: ck)