Four fifths of companies not following food safety standards

Due to the hot weather, people buying meat, fish and dairy products should be particularly careful. The Food and Veterinary Service is increasing inspections in markets and stores, and the findings show that in almost 80% of the cases companies don't abide to food safety standards, reported a story on Latvian Television.

"The products that spoil quickly are the most dangerous. It's meat, fish, dairy products and pastry with cream. These products should be stored at +6 degrees Celsius, and if the products are not stored in a suitable temperature there's an increased chance of food poisoning," said Vineta Grīnberga, senior expert at the Food Surveillance Department of the Food and Veterinary Service.

Visitors interviewed at the meat pavilion at Riga Central Market said that they haven't seen any spoiled products, stressing that they know the places where they shop regularly.

During the inspections, of which there are more in the hot summer months, the Food and Veterinary Service has found that 77% of the surveyed companies have food storage issues. Some stands at the Riga Central Market have had to be closed this year as well.

"People should do shopping in places they know and avoid places where the products aren't stored in a cold glass-case. You should not buy smoked meat and fish sold in the open air if it's 30 degrees outside," said Grīnberga.

In most cases, though, you'll be able to tell that a product has spoiled by smelling it. The buyer has the right to touch and smell the product before buying.

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