State Comptroller: Health Ministry Permits The Sale Of Food With High Levels Of Bacteria


1In the latest State Comptroller’s Report released on Tuesday, 16 Iyar, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira points out failures of the Ministry of Health, which permits the sale of bacteria-laden foods. The report documents that Israel’s labs, both public and private, lack the capabilities of testing for bacterial content or some other dangerous ingredients including carcinogenic.

Shapira’s report explains that unlike the situation in other developed nations, here in Israel such dangerous food items are permitted for sale despite poultry being contaminated with salmonella and campylobacter. The report explains these are dangerous bacteria that are present in foods as the ministry has failed to update standards in this area over the years. The report addresses testing that was conducted from February to November 2015 by five public health laboratories in an effort to understand how the Health and Agriculture Ministries test and monitor for food safety.

Deficiencies include refrigeration issues in the labs in which the products are stored. There is a shortage of professional staff and there are no plans to correct the refrigeration of employment issues on the horizon.

On the other hand, at times, there is a redundancy of inspections by various ministries and municipalities and the bureaucracy is overwhelming. He calls on the Health Ministry to become a central overseer and enforcer of regulations, to update regulations, staff and equipment and to have a central operation monitoring food products.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)