(MTI) – Five people have been taken to hospital with symptoms of anthrax infection from Tiszafured, in eastern Hungary, national health and food safety authorities said on Friday.
The case is believed to be linked with an illegal slaughter of two cattle at a farm, the authorities told MTI in a statement.
An on-the-spot inspection revealed the bacterium causing anthrax infection in the frozen meat seized at the farm, Nebih, the food safety authority, said.
Part of the meat was locally used, and the rest delivered to a company operating canteens, they said.
The authorities said responsibility lies with the company for buying meat from an illegal source and supplying it for catering.
The food safety authority has closed the canteens on Thursday and will file a criminal report.
The mayor of Tiszafured announced that the town council had terminated its contract with the company that provided meals for children during the summer holidays.
Health officials said that those who may have come into contact with the cattle or their meat are being given antibiotics as a precaution.
The health authorities started vaccinating animals prone to infection in the region.
Zoltan Gogos, a specialist of agriculture in the opposition Socialist Party, said that farm minister Sandor Fazekas, representing Tiszafured in Parliament, should assume political responsibility “for the authorities remaining silent about the affair” for 3-4 says.