Bakkersland admits bread recall over asbestos

Bakkersland, the largest industrial bakery company in the Netherlands, has admitted that asbestos had been released into its ovens, possibly contaminating shipments of bread destined for major grocery chains.

Bread / Wikipedia

The Hedel, Gelderland headquartered bakery supplies bread to many supermarkets, including Albert Heijn and Jumbo. The company’s Zwanenburg, Waalwijk and Wateringen locations have had a problem with asbestos in the previous two years.

In one case, Bakkersland in March 2013 recalled a shipment of bread from a distribution centre after asbestos broke through an oven ceiling, according to current affairs TV program .

In many old industrial bread ovens, asbestos is used as insulation. Bakkersland said it is working to remove the old ovens, but that could take up to two years to complete.

According to Bakkersland, there is no scientific evidence that ingesting asbestos is dangerous. But experts do not agree with the company and they want bakeries to remove all the old ovens.

Wim van der Linden, former chairman of the Bakkersland works council, said that could prove difficult, as many bakeries do not have enough money to buy new ovens.