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Up to Czechs to act against risk of infected Polish beef imports: Commission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Czech Republic is free to take the necessary steps against the risk of imports of Polish beef that could be infected with salmonella, but the measures have to be proportionate to the risk, the European Commission said on Friday.

Czech authorities informed the Commission this week that they found salmonella in beef coming from Poland, Commission spokeswoman Anca Paduraru told a regular news briefing, adding the Commission was in contact with Warsaw about the issue.

“EU legislation foresees that member states can take measures on food that might present a health risk on case-by-case basis,” Paduraru said, adding the measures should be proportionate to the risk identified.

It is for the Czech Republic to take necessary measures according to their own assessment,” she said.

Asked if infected Polish beef has been discovered also in other EU countries, Paduraru said small quantities have been found in Slovakia.

Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year, with 85 percent exported to countries including Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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