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Ban on Latvian dairy lifted

04-Dec-2002

The Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service has removed the ban on the sale of curd and curd products by Latvian dairy company Rigas Piensaimnieks.

The ban had been in place since last Wednesday, after routine testing revealed salmonella in a batch of curd snack imported into Lithuania from Rigas Piensaimenieks.

"Nobody has denied the presence of salmonella as a fact, nor has it been denied that some violations have been found at the company. However, we have received additional guarantees from the Latvian company, and we believe that the inadequacies have been removed. New batches of sweet curd snacks will be imported following the usual procedure," Kazimieras Lukauskas, director of the food authority, told the Baltic News Service.

The food authority had also banned the import of Rigas Piensaimnieks' other products, unless they had been tested at the National Veterinary Laboratory beforehand.

According to the service's statement, no violations of the technological process have been made at Rigas Piensaimnieks. However, certain sanitary inadequacies have been detected, which experts said might have led to spreading of micro-organisms at the company's premises.

The Food and Veterinary Service said the Latvian company had eradicated the inadequacies and had taken some extra measures to ensure the safety of products.

In November this year, 31 tons of Rigas Piensaimnieks' curd snacks under the brand name of Karums were imported into Lithuania. Lukauskas said the batch had been withdrawn from sale, tested and destroyed.

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