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(photo credit: David Wainer)
The Health Ministry will call in the head of the Association for Public Health, a for-profit company that failed to provide school health services on behalf of the ministry, to explain its “examination” of ground meat in leading supermarket chains and its claims that some products had too-high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria.
The press release issued Sunday by the association – which was set up by a former ministry official when the school health service was privatized less than five years ago – infuriated the Rami Levy, Mega Bool, Mega Ba’ir and Shufersol Deal chain, some of whose branches in Modi’in, Ness Ziona and Tel Aviv were accused of selling meat that was “dangerous” to eat.
Rami Levy, the owner of the 17-branch discount-food chain named for him, told The Jerusalem Post
that the data were “nonsense.”
The ministry stated on Monday that the association was an “independent
body that does not act on behalf of the Health Ministry and was not
authorized to carry out food tests for it.”
The ministry added that it and the Agriculture Ministry, along with the
local authorities, take samples from food and conduct lab tests to
ensure the quality and safety of what reaches the public.
“The data publicized by the ‘Public Health Association’ have
professional failings and are not exact,” said the ministry, adding that
the matter would be clarified with the group.