Salmonella saga: 'The public demands answers'

In special Knesset debate regarding recent Salmonella food infections, MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli blasts Health Ministry officials.

Hezki Baruch,

Shuli Moalem-Refaeli
Shuli Moalem-Refaeli
Photo: Hezki Baruch

Jewish Home faction leader MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli attacked the Health Ministry today (Tuesday), during a Knesset debate regarding the recent spate of Salmonella infections in food products.

"The responsibility for the Salmonella falls on the Health Ministry and the factories themselves. Any attempt to avoid dividing the responsibility equally is pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, and causes the populace to lose faith in the Ministry," Mualem opened.

The MK says the Ministry must first and foremost answer the difficult questions. "The food companies opposed opening the market for imports last year. In terms of the public health aspect they were correct. Food produces here can be monitored, whereas food imported from abroad cannot.

"The public can't sleep safely when no one is taking responsibility," added MK Mualem and called for the Health Ministry to "conduct an investigation into how it is that food with Salmonella gets to the shelves right under the Ministry's nose."

Mualem also directed harsh questions at Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov, "how can you guarantee that in issues where there is overlapping jurisdiction, like this case, things won't slip through the cracks?

"How can it be that we, the committee members, don't get answers regarding Salmonella when we've already warned in the past that it was a serious threat? Beyond that, how is it that it's possible to bring in meat from the Palestinian Authority territories for retail without it going through Health Ministry inspection?" Bar Siman Tov didn't reply.