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- Controls.Magrudis only had three public inspections in the last four years
- Analysis: An outbreak of listeria and doubts
The Sevillian company Magrudis, the cause of the largest outbreak of listeriosis ever known in Spain, did not have the papers in order. In fact, he had no activity license and for almost five years he has manufactured and sold processed foods without complying with the administrative requirements for this.
It was founded in 2013, but it was not until 2015 when it was registered in the General Sanitary Registry of food companies of the Junta de Andalucía and neither then nor later had an activity license , as the City Council of Seville has now verified, that describes as "serious" the administrative irregularities committed by the company, to the point that it will include them in the complaint before the Prosecutor's Office that has announced to hide some of its products in full health crisis by listeriosis.
Until December 2018, Magrudis does not present a responsible statement in the Environmental Protection Service of the Spanish City Council that allows the start of an activity and that document, according to the municipal information, had nothing to do with reality. To the extent that deficiencies have been found "in the form and substance" that have determined its cancellation after the file opened by the Environment area.
But there are no administrative violations that Magrudis would have incurred, which expanded its facilities without permission in the middle of this year.
On July 31, he informed the Ministry of Health of the extension to an adjoining ship, with the consequent reform and redistribution of the spaces. However, there is no sign of a work permit application .
The administrative irregularities come to light just after it was known that Magrudis hid for thirteen days the health authorities the existence and destiny of two of the products that he manufactured at his plant in El Polígono El Pino. These are the sausages and black pudding marketed under the brand La Mechá, the same as the shredded meat that caused the crisis.
During those thirteen days, the sanitary controls and the alert did not reach these two products, which could continue to be commercialized , although their production, like the rest of the Magrudis catalog, had been paralyzed after the location of the listeriosis infection site.
They were responsible for a hypermarket in Seville to which the company supplied those who gave the alert only a few days ago to the Junta de Andalucía, which immediately extended the health alert to absolutely all products , while removing the sausages and black pudding for submit them to analyzes that clarify if they add to the list of infested by Listeria monocytogene next to the roasted meat, the loin to the paprika and the loin to the sherry.
The Ministry of Health, through the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, also extended its alert to all Magrudis production.
According to the information provided by both the Board and the City Council of Seville, Magrudis not only did not provide the distribution lists of sausages and black pudding, but also expressly denied inspectors having other products in the market , ensuring that those two in particular had stopped manufacturing them.
More hidden products
The Spanish Consistory explained that its inspectors found in the factory the delivery notes for sausages and black pudding, which had not been included at any time in the lists given to the authorities and, therefore, had been left out of the health alert until now.
The company's performance could cost its managers dearly. Up to four years in prison includes, in its article 363, the Criminal Code for crimes against public health for «producers, distributors or merchants that endanger the health of consumers» for manufacturing or selling «products harmful to health» .
Both the Ministry of Health and Families and the City of Seville have filed complaints with the Prosecutor of Seville against Magrudis for hiding information about their products and lack of collaboration in the investigation around the listeriosis outbreak.
The Public Prosecutor's Office has already opened investigation proceedings last Friday about the other company involved, Comercial Martínez León, which distributed contaminated meat from unlabeled Magrudis. Most likely, as confirmed by sources of the Sevillian Prosecutor's Office, it is that all complaints are investigated jointly.
This discovery - the second of these characteristics after unlabeled meat - has also caused a new confrontation between the Andalusian government and the City of Seville. The executive who presides over Juanma Moreno has blamed the local government - in the hands of the socialist Juan Espadas - that the existence of these products has not been known before and has insisted that he will review the current municipal powers in public health.
Meanwhile, as regards the evolution of the health crisis, the number of cases remains stable and until 20 hours on Wednesday there was only one more affected, so that the total figure, in Andalusia, stands at the 197, surpassing the 200 in all Spain.
Experts believe that the outbreak has already reached its turning point and that in the coming days or weeks there will only be a drip of new cases, but already with a tendency to decline. In fact, the number of hospitalized has dropped from 77 to 67 in 24 hours.
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