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Magrudis , the company in Seville that has caused the largest outbreak of listeriosis due to the consumption of the meat that was prepared in its factory, has only undergone three public inspections in the four years that have elapsed since it opened its doors in 2015 until now.

THE WORLD confirmed in sources of the Ministry of Health and Families and the City Council of Seville this circumstance of Magrudis, which also expanded the factory where it produces the meat and other foods without the control of the Board or the municipal technicians.

The outbreak of listeriosis that keeps the country's health authorities on alert has caused the death of three elderly patients and previous pathologies and therefore within the risk groups and two abortions .

Magrudis signed up and received environmental authorization from the Board to begin manufacturing meat products on November 23, 2015 . To grant this permission, the Andalusian Administration must verify, normally through the team of inspectors of the City Council, that everything is in order. On that date, therefore, the first public inspection occurred.

The second was in November 2016 and was done by the Seville City Council, which did not return to the Magrudis factory until July 2017 . From then until now, there has been no public inspection at the facilities of this company.

They have not occurred because Magrudis implemented a self-control system provided for in the legislation, under which an external and private laboratory that hires the company itself takes samples from the factory and certifies that it is being produced with guarantees for the health of consumers. One of the research hypotheses is that this self-control system will fail. The Seville City Council could have required the results of these external laboratory analyzes and verified them, but it did not.

Nor did the Andalusian Board include this company in the inspection plans that it draws up each year, in which it marks priorities for municipal inspectors , since it is not the first level food risk company, since in the baking of products high temperatures are reached and eventual health risks are minimized.

The sources of the City Council consulted insist that an analysis never tested positive in Magrudis ; neither by Listeria nor by any other bacteria. Therefore, there was no special monitoring of this factory with more public inspections.

The Consistorio Hispalense, led by the socialist mayor Juan Espadas, has competence in food safety in catering establishments, retail stores and food industries such as Magrudis. In fact, the inspectors of the municipal laboratory are the ones that are currently doing analysis and controlling the Magrudis factory in which the contaminated shredded meat of the La Mechá brand was made.

The City Council of Seville has defended that the inspection of Consumption that its technicians are in charge of is done "in accordance with the European guidelines , the classification that is established in the companies, the operation of the self-control systems and the programs of priorities and the special plans defined by the Junta de Andalucía within the framework of its powers ".

When Magrudis opened its doors in 2015, it was registered in the sanitary registry of the Board with category B , according to the system of classification of food establishments based on risk, the City Council said.

In November 2016, in the second public control of Magrudis, municipal inspectors carried out an " ordinary inspection with the risk-based method" and placed the category in A, "according to the system of classification of establishments based on risk ", according to the session.

In July 2017, a new inspection was carried out by the Consumer inspectors - the third and last public - in which it is established that the category of the establishment is C, since the Magrudis factory has implemented a self-control plan that allowed "a greater extent in the periods of official control ", according to the information provided by the Consistory.

The notification of the expansion of the facilities , which was made without public control, was in July 2019, when Magrudis informed the Board of the expansion of its facilities and compliance with the self-control system.

Self-control system

In the letter, according to the City Council, the company states that it has the document related to the system of "self-control based on principles of hazard analysis and critical control points " and guarantees that "the initial sanitary technical conditions and correct functioning of the system of self-control and its fulfillment during the time that the exercise of the activity takes place ".

For the Board, it is an irregularity that the company continued with the elaboration of meat products without asking for authorization after the expansion of the facilities.

For a type C company like Magrudis, the approximate inspection frequency is 18 months . But these are "indicative, in no case mandatory, periods, as is clear in the regional regulations," says the City Council.

That there are so few public inspections in Magrudis is because it established a self-control system in 2017. This was "decisive," says the City Council. From that moment, the company assumes the "responsibility for monitoring and data collection in accordance with current regulations".

The review and classification system is a standard model of the Junta de Andalucía in accordance with European guidelines, in which no samples are taken , unless it is determined by an inspection plan of the Board, the session has detailed.

The City Council carries out "periodic and random" inspections of establishments based on a criterion of "proportionality" and the biohazard plan established by the Board. In this one Magrudis did not enter "to have a baked product with high cooking temperatures, to have a self-control system, to not have any antecedents and for the products and the volume of its distribution", the City Council has pointed out.

This year, 335 food analyzes have been carried out by the municipal services in relation to listeriosis. All of them have been negative.

Alleges that he complied with the law

Meanwhile, Magrudis manager, José Marín , has defended that he has not done anything outside the law and that he complies with all control protocols, and does not understand "the tidal wave that has been mounted" on his company, since he sees the matter "politicized" with the meetings that are taking place.

On the contamination in his facilities, he has opined that " the listeria outbreak should not be so evident when the same veterinarians of the Seville City Council and technicians of the Board have been trying to find him for several days and do not get it".

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