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The next salmonella: who makes sure our milk is pasteurized? - Walla! Of money


An application by an expert food engineer to the Ministry of Health revealed that the Ministry of Health does not have an expert in pasteurization, and the public was harmed twice: potential damage to health and certain damage to the pocket

From what appears to be a lack of professionalism on the part of the Ministry of Health, the public has been harmed twice.

The least dangerous injury is in the pocket (Photo: ShutterStock)

Less than nine months have passed since the salmonella bacteria was discovered in the production lines and chocolate of the "Strauss" company.

The affair, which caused hundreds of millions of shekels in damage to the company, led to the closing of the "Alit" candy factory and the removal of its chocolate products from the shelves for many months, was discovered by chance during a routine inspection conducted at the factory and raised the question - are the inspectors of the food service in the Ministry of Health, the ones responsible for regular sampling of the products, did their work properly and why didn't they closely monitor what was going on in the factory.

Now it turns out that not only the supervision of chocolate production in the food service is lacking.

Serious allegations are made against the inspectors of the food service who are responsible for the pasteurization of the milk, and raise concerns that it is possible, apparently, that we are drinking, unbeknownst to us, unpasteurized milk, which has not gone through the mandatory boiling and cooling process, in order to kill harmful bacteria, pollutants and fungi that are present in it, and are dangerous our health

The reason is almost unbelievable: the inspectors of the Ministry of Health do not have sufficient knowledge of the pasteurization process and the only inspector who was certified in the field, left his position several decades ago and since then no replacement has been found...

the veteran food engineer, Aryeh Gilboa, from the company "Arzot al-Machuda"

, who advises food factories and especially dairies, in everything related to business licensing with the food service and the ongoing supervision of the factories, and works with these inspectors on a regular basis, warns of the danger: "Most of the office's inspectors," he says, "are mostly young people with no practical experience in the industry and in many cases with little Very specific knowledge in the areas of production supervised by them.

"I don't expect broad knowledge from a beginning engineer who needs to supervise many areas in the food industry - such as baking, confectionery, meat, fish, poultry, milk, oils, vegetables, fruits, honey, ice cream, salads , sauces, wine and beer.

The lack of knowledge often leads to disputes.

But there are cases when the lack of professionalism is simply mind-boggling and dangerous."

"Bacteria found in the environment of animals may endanger the public" (Photo: ShutterStock)

Not only health, but also the cost of living

When Gilboa talks about the lack of professionalism, he is not necessarily talking only about potential damage to public health, but also about high damage to the producers themselves, not a trivial matter in an era where all those who raise prices are concerned about the increase in production: "They can come to the factory and decide that something is wrong, They stop the marketing, destroy goods, without them having any training on the subject and they also insist on not understanding it."

And what about our health?

Gilboa: "The Ministry of Health claims that the inspectors receive professional support. I have been trying for several months to get the name of the expert who advises them. I have contacted Dr. Sharon Elroei Price, who is in charge of public health, to district doctors, the head of the food service, and I am unsuccessful to get answers, because there is no qualified pasteurization expert.

In addition, how in Israel is there a laboratory that knows how to test the pasteurization systems in dairies and they are not supervised.

"This glaring lack of professionalism can amount to great financial damage that will cause producers at best, but if unpasteurized milk reaches consumers, it may cause health damage and illness, exposing them to spilococcus bacteria, faecal coliforms, tuberculosis bacteria if the cattle are sick and other bacteria found in the animals' environment , and endanger them."

How serious is the situation?

Walla received an inspection report confirming Pasteur, from which a sentence was intentionally omitted that should have led to his disqualification.

In practice, the report was approved, meaning - products were approved for marketing to the public, even though they were allegedly not properly tested.

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Only those who supervise them harm them - and may also harm our health (Photo: ShutterStock)

Two inspectors set off

For years, Gilboa felt that the inspectors were not really in control of the matter, but what happened a year ago at the small dairy "Mahalbat Adar" in Dalit El Carmel, turned on all the red lights for him.

Two food service inspectors arrived at the end of January 2022 to conduct an audit at the dairy and found that the thermometer was not working properly due to a lack of registration ink.

They asked to repair it and it was replaced with a new device.

In the audit report that was sent to the dairy two days later, no concern was expressed about the consumption of the milk, and in the inspector

's letter attached to it, nothing was said about the quality of the dairy's products.

Continuous documentation of the pasteurization process." Right before they left the door, Gilboa, who was present at the scene, asked them what he should do, and if they were going to take samples, and the answer was: "It's not our job, do what you think.

We just deliver the paperwork to the office."

Gilboa raised his head, and did what the inspectors were supposed to do, check for the presence of phosphatase, the enzyme that is destroyed in the pasteurization process.

Since there was no trace of it in the milk, the obvious conclusion was that the milk had been properly pasteurized and was safe for consumption.

The results were sent to the Ministry of Health, with a request to cancel the seizure orders, where they insisted that the test does not replace the documentation of the pasteurization process, even though from a professional point of view, only a sample test is proof that the milk is suitable for use.

Here began a fruitless correspondence in which Gilboa tried to convince the chief inspector that the test outweighs documentation and hypothesis, and she reprimanded him that the test has no value, because it was not carried out by an authorized party, when according to the food standards in Israel, these tests are carried out by the manufacturers on a regular basis by law, and a requirement of the Ministry of Health.

When he realized that he had no one to talk to, he requested an urgent discussion in the presence of the deputy district doctor, who, according to Gilboa, also showed a lack of knowledge regarding the pasteurization tests and in the end it was determined that the milk should be destroyed.

Gilboa, who took to heart the general ignorance in the discussion and the financial loss suffered by his client, decided to go to war against the lack of knowledge and bureaucracy.

Following a correspondence with Dr. Sharon Elroei Price and at her initiative, a joint meeting was convened with the director of the National Food Service, the district doctors and the director of the district food service, from which Gilboa also left shocked.

At the end of September 2022, in a letter to the Minister of Health, Gilboa repeated his alarming claim: "There is no In the National Food Service and in all its districts, a professional with full knowledge and understanding of the milk pasteurization processes.

This situation has already caused and undoubtedly will continue to cause considerable damage to producers and consumers.

The public deserves the knowledge and reassurance that the inspection officials are faithful to their work and as free as possible from mistakes that stem from ignorance of the material."

As far as we know, the previous health minister has not yet responded to the letter. Now, one can only hope that Gilboa's warning will be taken seriously by the new minister and the new CEO- Old, otherwise: in the best case, we will pay dearly and in the worst case, we will pay in health.

Our appeal to the Ministry of Health requesting that they refer us to a qualified expert who can respond to the claims has not yet been answered.

  • Of money

  • news


  • milk

  • milk pasteurization

  • Cost of living

  • Ministry of Health

Source: walla

All business articles on 2023-01-09

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