JEROEN VAN DER DRIFT
CAMERAMAN
Associate Member of the Netherlands
Society of Cinematographers (NSC)

MUCKING ABOUT WITH MEAT
Director: Sander Rietveld
Production: Zembla

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‘Mucking about with meat’. Hundreds of thousands of chickens, cows, pigs and calves are processed for public consumption in Dutch slaughterhouses every day. But what do we actually know about the entire meat processing chain? How is food safety monitored? In this episode of Zembla, inspectors explain that faecal matter is present on 30 to 60 percent of the carcasses. Officially, slaughterhouses are supposed to trim any traces of manure from the meat, but according to allegations this is not being done. Instead, carcasses are either wiped down or sprayed with water, which only spreads the bacteria over the entire carcass. According to employees, the huge VION slaughterhouse is committing fraud with the “Beter Leven Vlees” quality seal. Regular meat is being certified with the sustainability logo. Frank Dales, director of the Dutch animal protection agency (Dierenbescherming), says that he is “deeply shocked.” He believes that VION should be criminally prosecuted.