Mouse droppings, beetle bits found in German bakeries | News | DW | 28.06.2017
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Mouse droppings, beetle bits found in German bakeries

Mold and mice have been uncovered in several large-scale Bavarian bakeries, according to consumer watchdog Foodwatch. The group said "the real scandal" is that consumers didn't hear about the findings until now.

German food inspectors uncovered serious hygiene deficiencies in several bakery chains in Bavaria, said the Berlin-based consumer protection group Foodwatch in a report on Wednesday.

The report cited the results of 69 official food inspections carried out in the southern-German state between 2013 and 2016.

Three bakery chains in particular, which provide goods to hundreds of stores in Bavaria, performed particularly poorly during the inspections. Dirty machines, mouse droppings and beetle infestations were found at production sites.

Inspectors found rodent hair and chew marks on one bakery's Christmas products. In another area, water was found to be dripping on several cakes and mold was found in one room.

At another Bavarian bakery, cockroaches were found to be crawling through the flour and a small mound of rodent feces was even found baked into a wheat bread roll.

In a third bakery, a cockroach and maggot infestation was uncovered at a facility for doughnuts.

Metal shavings and strips of tape were also found baked into bread loaves, bread rolls and cookies, the report said.

No public report

Two of the bakery chains listed in the report maintained that the hygienic issues have long since been taken care of.

"We would like to apologize to our customers for the uncertainty caused by cases in the past," bakery chain Ihle said.

The Erlangen-based bakery "Der Beck," which has around 150 branches in the region, emphasized that moldy bread was never delivered to branches.

Unhygienic conditions aside, Foodwatch sharply criticized that the results from the food inspections were documented but not released to the public until now.

"The authorities' silence is the real scandal," said Foodwatch expert Johannes Heeg.

"Consumers have the right to know where everything is clean and where mice and cockroaches come and go," Foodwatch said.

The consumer protection group urged for Germany's state governments to legally require that food inspection results are published for the public.

Foodwatch also criticized that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's grand coalition government has not fulfilled promises to improve the information provided to consumers.

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