Danger on Your Plate

Saturday August 12th, 2006
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Story 1: The food you eat can make you sick

Nearly half the food tested in a summer-time analysis by laboratory experts was found to be loaded with bacteria, including varieties that cause cramps, vomiting and diarrhea of food poisoning. 
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Story 4: No order in border inspections

Poor equipment and disorganized data lets unsafe food into BiH. 
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Story 6: Tagging and rangers don’t stop smuggling

Trade in cattle across the borders of BiH is profitable enough to keep smugglers busy despite fears of disease and a contaminated food supply. 
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Story 8: Consumers don’t get much protection in BIH

If you have a complaint about the quality of the food you eat, you can tell the person who served it that you are not happy, but that’s about it. Consumer protection is mostly an illusion because NGOs are broke and disorganized, inspectors are too busy and courts are overburdened. 
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Story 10: Many inspections but poor protection for consumers

Moving responsibility for veterinary border inspections from entities to state has not made for smooth inspections, and state auditors find faults with the State Veterinary Office as well. 
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Story 12: Food control without controlled labs

Cramped quarters, inadequent equipment, lack of oversight and standards means lab testing of food in BiH could be unreliable. 
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Story 14: Our daily bread

Bakeries, not government inspectors, are doing most of the quality control to insure that bread and flour is hygienic and uncontaminated. 

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Story 16: Officials Acted Slowly In Poisoning Case

It took doctors two days to report an outbreak of Salmonella in Tuzla. Meanwhile, more people were getting sick from a local restaurant. 

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 Story 2: Careless food handles carries health risks

Unwashed hands, dirty counter tops and summer heat can turn food you eat every day into poison and a fractured, under-funded inspection system is not protecting you. 
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Story 3: Nobody wants to chase street vendors

Police and Inspectors each say it’s not their job to stop the illegal sale of food outside markets. 
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Story 5: BiH lax on use of low-quality scraps and deboned meat

Low-grade cuts that many countries won’t import cross borders into BiH and end up on the dinner table. 
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Story 7: Incinerator is key to safe food disposal

There’s no clear-cut, easy and safe way to dispose of food products that inspectors find to be contaminated or spoiled. 
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Story 9: BiH’s hesitation turns it into a dumping ground

Delay in implementing big structural changes needed to ensure a safe food supply has put BiH behind other European countries, and consumers suffer as a result. 
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Story 11: A dozen measures to improve food safety

Insuring hygienic, contaminant-free food in Bosnia and Herzegovina will require the following steps. 
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Story 13: One sample, different results

 CIN tested some of the labs that test food and found variations. 
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VIDEO: Danger on your plate

 Video documentary by CIN. 
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Story 15: Unsafe Food Alerts Delayed

Alerts about unsafe food in BiH can take days to translate into action. Authorities in the rest of Europe move within hours to get bad food off shelves and out of reach of citizens. Here, things move more slowly. 
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The following reporters make up the Center for Investigative Reporting: Mirsad Brkić, Mirza Bahić, Svjetlana Ćelić, Ida Ðonlagić, Željka Kujundžija, Gordana Lukić, Eldina Pleho, Lidija Pisker i Renata Radić. For more information call: 387 33 560 040.

 

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The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) work is available for free to all organizations that credit CIN as their source and link to www.cin.ba.

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