The employees of Magrudis confirm before the judge irregularities of the owners

Six employees —four women and two commercial— of the seville-based company Magrudis, responsible for the largest outbreak of listeriosis in Spain, which affecte

The employees of Magrudis confirm before the judge irregularities of the owners

Six employees —four women and two commercial— of the seville-based company Magrudis, responsible for the largest outbreak of listeriosis in Spain, which affected more than 200 people, caused at least three deaths and seven abortions, have declared this Monday morning in quality of witnesses before the judge who instructs the cause. The operatives, who were engaged in tasks of production, packing and cleaning, have coincided in noting the neglect of the owners of the meat to comply with and enforce the minimum standards of hygiene and other safety measures, including the control of the temperature in the rooms or the maintenance of the production during the time that lasted the expansion works of the factory in July of 2019, a few jobs that have not requested authorization.

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All the witnesses have been assured that Jose Antonio Marín Ponce —in provisional detention from the end of September along with his son Sandro accused as responsible for the outbreak of listeriosis— never warned them of the existence of the bacterium in February of 2019, when laboratories confirmed that a batch of meat December 2018 was contaminated, nor were they instructed that they had to clean more thoroughly. Is more, a it has been recognized that ate shredded beef, the product is infected with listeria, every day. Employees who work directly in Magrudis have also agreed to recognize that they brought the clothing to work from home, and not put the masks because none of the owners, he asked them to do so.

“these examples show a lack of understanding all of the rules on hygiene,” said Jose Juan Rodriguez, professor of Nutrition and Food science from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and member of the Spanish Society for Food Safety. “The fact that it does not cripple the production during the development of works in the factory is simply disastrous, because it could have fallen on the product any kind of residue of the work”, explains the expert, recalling that during the execution of works or repairs on this type of facility must shut down the activity. One of the employees has been recognized, according to the information to which it has had access to this journal, that the activities “do not generate dust”.

The environmental conditions and temperature required by the plans of self-control to ensure the quality of the final products also were observed in the company. One of the employees has testified that they were the workers who climbed the heating or activating the air conditioning, depending on whether they were hot or cold. They have also stated that those who gathered the meat that came from the slaughterhouse were the children of the owner of the factory, dressed for the street, and that the meat was tampered with back to camera figrorífica where they kept coming from suppliers until they spent all the time required for baking.

One of the employees has been recognized that not he attended the courses of food handling, prescriptive for the type of activity that was carried out, but that Marín Ponce provided the carnet is obligatory. Another has also testified that after the activation of the health alert were asked by WhatsApp incorporation of the work —by the dates, August 15, some were on vacation—. The tasks performed were cleaning in front of the techniques of the Junta de Andalucía and the town Hall and a technician in charge of taking samples. The worker has insured that the shots for the laboratory were taken after disinfecting the ship, a circumstance that has called the attention to the judge and to the lawyers present, according to the sources consulted.

“it Is very likely that the inspectors would want to take the samples after the cleaning to verify the effectiveness of disinfection,” says Rodriguez. The technicians already analysed samples of the shredded beef of Magrudis. The eight of August, 2019, the Board took samples from the meat factory and the 9 laboratories of the city Council of seville noted the positive.

The testimonies of the workers, who already testified before the Civil Guard officers in charge of the initial investigation, confirm the deficiencies and irregularities health and administrative surrounding the factory Magrudis. In cross-examination have been present to the prosecutor, the representative of the consumer association Facua, the of the Board. Andalucia, the of those affected are included in the group of abortions, the injured, exerted by Ateneo lawyers, he has asked for 1.5 million euros, as civil liability.

Updated Date: 21 January 2020, 00:00

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