Food association to ask details about Nébih probe


Hungary’s National Association of Food Processors (ÉFOSZ) announced it will contact the Hungarian food safety authority Nébih, after it only learned about a food quality probe by the latter through the media, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal on Friday.

The ÉFOSZ announcement comes in response to a report by the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih), published in government-friendly daily Magyar Idők, suggesting that multinationals offer “lower-quality” products in Hungary. Following the report, Cabinet Chief János Lázár urged the government to launch a probe of identically branded products in Hungary and Austria, while a trade association rejected the report as “subjective.”

ÉFOSZ underlined that Nébih itself admitted in the report that as far as ingredients are concerned, no differences were unearthed, and no relevant regulations infringed, with differences only found in taste.

The organization noted that food companies manufacture goods in only a few plants and deliver products to the whole of Europe. It noted that many of the plants are located in Hungary and generate products made from Hungarian ingredients, before shipping to Hungarian or other European retailers.

While the organization added that different countries might have taste preferences, and recipes might be altered slightly to meet these demands, the basic quality, ingredients and taste of identical products are the same, the press statement notes.

Producers mentioned in the Nébih report - such as Ed.Haas Hungaria (producing the Manner brand), Coca-Cola HBC Magyarország and Nestlé Hungária - all issued separate press statements following the Magyar Idők report, stressing that they do not differentiate between consumers, and therefore use the same recipes, basic materials and machinery in manufacture globally, according to reports.

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