17 tonnes of food infected with listeria seized in Spain

07 November 2019
Press Release
Press Release/News
  •  Listeria outbreak in Spain could be linked to case involving eight individuals
  • The group knew the food products contained the harmful bacteria but failed to inform the authorities

An operation linked to a harmful bacteria outbreak by the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and with Europol’s support has led to the arrest of six individuals, with a further two detained. Although those responsible had been aware that a number of food products contained listeria since late last year, they did not inform the authorities and continued to sell them. Out of the eight individuals investigated, six have been arrested and two have been detained. The products are due to be incinerated in Cadiz, Spain.

Investigations revealed that at least three of the people responsible for the products knew that a batch labelled in December 2018 was infected with listeria but failed to inform the authorities. This batch could be the reason for several cases of a listeria outbreak in Spain. 

Up to 193 persons poisoned

The officers confirmed that the meat products from a company they were investigating were the reason for the first outbreaks detected in Sevilla last August. It is believed that the number of poisoning instances linked to the case has gone up to 193 since. Although the activities of the company were mainly focused in Spain, there have been several cases detected in Europe: four members from a German family, alongside a British citizen who was in France, are believed to have been poisoned by this bacteria.

Europol supported the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) in this operation by deploying three experts on-the-spot during two different action days.

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