‘The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency will check producers, processors and retailers. The bulk of the checks will take place at producers,’ the minister said during the inspection of a retail chain. ‘Those who sell us water instead of meat are lying to consumers. Some products even carry a sign for 30% water content’. Imported meat will also have to be repackaged at processing firms in accordance with the ordinance.
The rules state that the moisture content in poultry should not exceed 4.3%, and the water should only be such that is physiologically found in the dead body and not added. The water content will not have to be announced but surpassing the 4.3% mark will be considered a violation.
‘I believe they were allowed a sufficient grace period. The ordinance was promulgated back on November 20, 2012, so retailers had two months to meet the requirements,’ said BFSA executive director Yordan Voynov.
Sanctions for violation of the ban will be imposed on producers. The fine is set at BGN 10,000, with closure of the production facility planned for repeated offence. Retailers will be slapped a BGN 5,000 fine.
‘This is the first check and it sends out a signal to everyone. The products with water content should be removed from the shelf,’ minister Naydenov explained. The old produce should be sent to the food bank or incinerated.