Many deficiencies exist in monitoring food products from animal origins, causing potential danger to public health, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira wrote in a section of his report released on Wednesday.
Samples of eggs taken from a small number of poultry farms between late 2012 and early 2013 indicated traces of toxic dioxins, at higher levels than allowable, which could be dangerous to the health particularly of infants and children, the state comptroller said.
The State Comptroller's Office also evaluated several aspects related to the meat industry from January to July 2013, examining issues such as the veterinary supervision of animals, activities of slaughterhouses and animal welfare.
Slaughterhouses that market their products only to domestic consumers operate with much lower standards than do those that market abroad, the report said. Meanwhile, no government agency examines whether municipal veterinarians are performing supervision over food as required, the state comptroller added.
"Due to the deficiencies identified in the stages of supervision of animal-based food products, there is room for concern that the food is not fitting for human consumption," Shapira wrote.
The state comptroller called upon the agriculture, health and interior ministries to ensure that local authorities are monitoring animal-based food production as required. In addition, he stressed that government ministries must expedite the determination of binding guidelines on the subject of animal welfare, under the Animal Welfare Law, for handling animals in general.