Probe uncovers dual food quality in quarter of products

Food

A three-year investigation comparing the quality of food products in Hungary with those similarly marketed in Austria and German has found deviations in 25.6% of cases, food safety authority Nébih said on Thursday, according to state news wire MTI.

The authority launched the probe after a comparison of identically branded food products showed varying degrees of difference in quality when stocked on store shelves in Hungary or in other European Union member states, suggesting multinational companies employ double standards for markets in Eastern Europe.

On Thursday, Nébih said differences in the quality of food may be related to specific national regulations, the use of local ingredients or circumstances of production. It noted that producers have attributed the differences to divergent consumer preferences and tastes and pointed out that house brands are often tailored to the specific needs of consumers in a given country.

The probe compared 117 products using 312 samples. About one-fifth of the products were house brands.

Nébih said an analysis of the result of the investigation could support better recipe harmonization and the establishment of a system for properly informing consumers.

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