Following a recent beef scandal in which beef from sick Polish cows was passed off as prime Argentinian cuts at upscale Prague restaurants, the Czech Ministry of Agriculture has introduced tightened controls on Polish meat.
Veterinarians discovered a total of 700 kilograms of Polish beef contaminated with Salmonella. The meat was also delivered in school cafeterias, and hospitals; inspectors are reporting that 110 kg of beef has already been consumed.
In light of the news, the Ministry of Agriculture urged Czechs to avoid Polish beef in favor of domestic alternatives.
As the latest chapter in the Polish beef scandal unfolds Polish Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Ardanowski has now said he will institute stricter controls on Czech beer in a retaliation.
“If we are blackmailed, we have no choice but to start controlling Czech beer,” Ardanowski told the Polish press, adding, “We can check if the temperature is always right, expiration date, malt content, alcohol.”
The comments are being met with glee by Polish journalists and citizens who are eagerly volunteering to help with the hard work of testing Czech beer.
“We are reporting volunteers ready to support not only you, Minister, but our country in this noble action,” wrote Gazeta Wyborcza on Saturday.
“We offer our country the competence, the experience and the desire to help an austere mouth prepared to control Czech beer in full use and with a deep knowledge of the issue,” the Polish daily wrote.
According to Novinky.cz, which reported the story, the Czech Brewery Association, in response to the announcement by the Polish Minister, said that the real implementation of beer inspections is not expected.
Others factions of the Polish beef industry are also striking back at the restrictions, saying the charges against them are artificially inflated.
“We are the victim of a media campaign that spreads unverified and unconfirmed information,” Jerzy Wierzbicki, Chairman of the Association of Polish Meat Producers said in an interview with Aktuálně.cz.
He goes on to blame animal rights organizations and vegans for inflating the situation in the media.