Health hazards: Online retailers are more likely to disregard food cooling regulations

Health hazards: Online retailers are more likely to disregard food cooling regulations

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Online retailers frequently disregard food cooling regulations
Since food can spoil quickly, especially at high summer temperatures, the cold chain should always be observed during transport. But online retailers apparently often do not comply with the legal regulations. Inspectors found defects in continuous cooling, especially in fish products.

Fish stored too warm
If fish is stored too warm or otherwise stored incorrectly, there is a risk to health. Among other things, there is a risk of fish poisoning, which can be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. To prevent this, customers should ask their fishmonger for a bag of ice cream to take their purchase home chilled. But what if the purchase takes place online?

Online retailers often fail to keep the cold chain
Then there is obviously an increased risk. Because online retailers often disregard the legal cooling regulations when delivering fresh food. This emerges from the current annual report of the food and feed monitoring in Baden-Württemberg. “In 2015, our inspectors focused on cooling fish products while monitoring Internet trade. The sobering result: the majority of the samples obtained did not comply with the cold chain during shipping, ”said Consumer Protection Minister Peter Hauk in a message.

Control agency examined various products
As the newspapers of the Funke media group reported (Saturday editions), the Baden-Württemberg control authority CVUA examined five fresh products, three smoked fish samples and two frozen products. “All dealers had the goods delivered to the CVUA by common logistics companies without special refrigerated vehicles. Some of the packages contained cold packs or dry ice, but the majority of the products could not be guaranteed to maintain the cold chain, ”says the current report.

Samples sometimes showed "increased bacterial counts"
According to the newspaper reports, the goods had arrived at too high a temperature in eight test purchases. In addition, it was said that some samples, especially at the end of the best before date, had "increased bacterial counts". In addition, seven samples had labeling defects. Hauk said: "When I order food that requires refrigeration, I recommend that consumers pay attention to information about cooling during shipping or to arrange a delivery date."

Legal action initiated
According to the newspaper reports, a spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Consumer Protection warned against this background of health risks and urged the mail order companies to check and improve the transport systems. According to the reports, the spokesman also said that legal action would be taken. (ad)

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