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‘Two-year-old chickens supplied to hospitals’

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  • ‘Two-year-old chickens supplied to hospitals’

    By Jacqueline Theodoulou

    POLITIS newspaper yesterday claimed state hospitals had been supplied frozen chickens that were slaughtered two years ago.

    According to the paper, the companies that cater for state hospitals have been providing frozen chickens that were stored for months and even years. This information, it said, had been confirmed by officials at the Health Ministry.

    The two poultry suppliers chosen during a tender competition last August, after they both made an identical offer.

    In the first week, they supplied hospitals with frozen chickens that didn't meet the required standards, which specify that poultry should be slaughtered no more than 30 days before they are supplied.

    The chickens were returned and new ones were requested.

    The companies then sent heavily frozen chickens, most of which had been slaughtered up to two years earlier, according to Politis’ sources.

    The same sources claimed the chickens supplied to the hospitals were those that were left over from the bird flu crisis a couple of years ago.

    The head of the Health Ministry’s Works, Supplies and Medical-technical Department, Petros Matsas confirmed the paper’s claims.

    “For a few weeks, the suppliers sent chickens that didn't meet
    specifications, which has the forced the Health Ministry to scrap the signed agreement,” he said.

    Matsas went on to say that the Medical Services had sent a letter to both suppliers, informing them that the chickens could not be accepted and that the ministry had no choice but to scrap the contract signed between the companies and the ministry last August.

    Health Minister Costas Kadis, who was informed on the issue on Friday, told Politis that he had given instructions for chickens to be bought on the open market so that patients – especially those whose diet demands poultry – were not deprived of proper nutrition.

    He added that the matter would be examined by his ministry within the next few days.
    "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation