Much beef and veal contaminated with ESBL virus

Some 40% of Dutch veal and 13% of steak is infected with the ESBL virus, an antibiotic-resistant virus which can cause urinary tract infections and blood poisoning.

While not usually harmful to healthly people, ESBL is considered particularly dangerous to the elderly and people with weak immune systems.

The consumers’ association Consumentenbond analysed 180 steaks and 30 pieces of veal from butchers and supermarkets all over the country. The research was carried out on behalf of the economic affairs ministry.

Similar research last year showed almost all chicken is contaminated with the virus.

The organisation said in a statement the findings are worrying. Beef producers must be alert, the organisation said. ‘We have to move towards a healthy, clean, livestock sector in which antibiotics are only used as a last resort.

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