A three-year investigation comparing the quality of food products in Hungary with those similarly marketed in Austria and Germany has found deviations in 25.6 percent of cases.
According to food safety authority Nébih, the probe was launched after a comparison of identically branded food products showed varying degrees of difference in quality when stocked on store shelves in Hungary as opposed to other European Union member states, suggesting multinational companies employ double standards for markets in eastern Europe. Nebih says differences in the quality of food may be related to specific national regulations, the use of local ingredients or circumstances of production. It noted that producers have attributed the differences to divergent consumer preferences and tastes, noting that house brands are often tailored to the specific needs of consumers in a given country.
The probe compared 117 products using 312 samples. Fully one-fifth of the products were house brands. Nébih said an analysis of the result of the investigation could support better recipe harmonization and the establishment of a system for properly informing consumers.