The catering industry in the Netherlands is still in danger, despite restaurants, bars, and cafes being allowed to open with anti-coronavirus measures on Monday. While people went out to support their local terraces, some places were much quieter than expected. And the weather will not always be warm and sunny, KHN, the industry association fo restaurants, cafes, and hotels, said to Het Parool.
The around 33 thousand people who work in the Netherlands' meat processing industry must all be tested for the coronavirus, according to trade union FNV. A recent coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse in Helmond and the previous one in Groenlo show that slaughterhouses are a hotspot for the disease, the union said.
Van Rooi Meat slaughterhouse in Helmond was ordered closed on Thursday evening after 21 employees tested positive for the coronavirus in a sample testing. The meat processing company will have to stay closed until at least Tuesday, local security region Veiligheidsregio Brabant-Zuidoost announced.
The Vion slaughterhouse and meat processor in Groenlo, Gelderland was ordered closed on Wednesday after 45 of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus, the Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA announced. Less than half of the slaughterhouse's employees have been tested so far.
Restaurants, cafes and other catering facilities will be allowed to reopen their doors at noon on June 1 and not before, according to the wishes of the Security Council, sources told RTL Nieuws.
The Security Council consists of the mayors that head the Netherlands' 25 safety regions. The Safety Council was given the opportunity to express how it wants the catering industry to reopen from the coronavirus lockdown. By opening at noon and not immediately after midnight, the mayors hope to prevent too many people from going out at night and thereby any "impromptu" parties.
Netherlands residents were not big drinkers in the early 20th century when compared to other Europeans. In the years 1900 to 1904, the per capita use of beer, wine and spirits in the Netherlands was 5.6 liters of pure alcohol - about half of the 10.8 liters in Denmark and 11.2 liters in England, a third of the 14.8 liters in Italy, and a quarter of the 22.5 liters in France, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday.
The vast majority of Netherlands residents didn't change their eating habits when the country went into intelligent lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a survey by the Nutrition Center among over a thousand Dutch aged 18 or older, AD reports.
83 percent of respondents told the Nutrition Center that they did not start eating differently after the coronavirus measures came into effect. 70 percent don't eat more or less than before, and 73 percent don't eat more often than at other times.
The number of Netherlands residents who eat little to no meat increased over the past years, according to a study by Multiscope among 7,300 people. Around two thirds of the Dutch population eat meat every day, 7 percent less than in 2016, ANP reports.
About 7 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 are vegetarian or vegan. Among older Dutch, aged 50 or older, 3 percent eat no meat. Women, single people, and young people are more likely to give up meat than men, couples, families, and older people.
Implementing social distancing of 1.5 meters once hospitality businesses in the Netherlands are allowed to reopen, will be unworkable for many cafes, restaurants and other catering and hospitality establishments, according to hospitality association KHN. Keeping businesses closed for longer is also not an option. There must be some wiggle room, according to KHN, AD reports.
The Dutch government made a total of 950 million euros in extra support available for the cultural sector and parts of the agricultural sector. 300 million euros was made available to support crucial institutions in the culture sector through the hardest months of the coronavirus crisis, and for the sector to start investing in the coming season. And a total of 650 million euros was set aside to compensate the flower sector, specific parts of food horticulture, and the fries potatoes sector for damage suffered by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ministries involved announced.
Supermarket chain Jumbo donated hundreds of thousands of products to food banks in the Netherlands, as well as a gift for each of the food banks' around 12 thousand volunteers, Food Banks Netherlands announced on Tuesday.
"It is heartwarming to see Jumbo make an extra donation during this difficult time," said Leo Wijnbelt, chairman of Food Banks Netherlands said. "We are more than happy with this massive donation. It is fantastic to have such a collaboration partner, who has an eye for society and the most vulnerable people in it."
Food Banks Netherlands, an association of Dutch food banks, predicts that the number of people in need of food assistance will increase greatly in the period ahead as a result of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. "After this health crisis, there will be an economic crisis," the organization's chairman, Leo Wijnbelt, explained to Nederlands Dagblad.
Self-service wholesalers like Makro and Sligro will temporarily open to consumers during the coronavirus crisis, the association for supermarkets and food service companies CBL announced on Thursday. This forms part of an emergency package that the food sector presented to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte insisted that the people of the Netherlands stop hoarding because of the spread of coronavirus, and instead be more socially responsible and thus considerate of people in difficult situations. "We have enough food. There is no need to hoard," he said at his weekly scheduled press conference on Friday.
Rutte mentioned workers who were not able to remain home, like first responders, as one example. “It is very annoying for the people who work so hard for us. They get to the stores after work and see empty shelves," he said.
Getting packages of food from a food bank is intended to be an emergency aid measure, but more and more people in the Netherlands need this help long-term. Last year 13 thousand people received food from food banks for longer than three years. That is 15 percent of the total customer base. Five years ago, only 5 percent were dependent on food bank packages for more than three years, NOS reports.
The coronavirus outbreak in China is expected to push the prices of garlic and ginger. China is the world's largest exporter of these aromatics, responsible for 80 percent of all garlic in the world. In the Netherlands, 75 percent of all ginger and 66 percent of all garlic comes from China, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. And the doors of the Chinese warehouses full of garlic bulbs and ginger roots have been closed for weeks, NOS reports.
Vegan burgers often contain more salt than recommended by the Netherlands Nutrition Center, but so do meat burgers. On average, vegan burgers contain less fat than their meaty counterparts, according to a study by Dutch consumers' association Consumentenbond, NOS reports.
The Consumentenbond tested 16 meat substitute burgers and compared them to their meat counterparts.
Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture is intervening at Dutch slaughterhouses after another undercover video was published showing workers at a slaughterhouse in IJsselstein beating pigs and pulling crippled animals by the tail. Schouten was shocked by the video. "You cannot use violence against animals. This is unacceptable," she said to RTL Nieuws.
The video was released by RTL Nieuws on Friday. It shows slaughterhouse employees beating the animals in their care, sometimes with inspectors from Dutch food safety authority NVWA watching on or even participating.
Eight restaurants in the Netherlands were awarded their first Michelin Star at the presentation in Amsterdam on Monday. Inter Scaldes in Kruiningen and De Librije in Zwolle both kept the three stars they already had. The Netherlands now counts a total of 112 Michelin star restaurants, according to Misset Horeca's live blog of the presentation.
De Librije, with chefs Jonnie and Therese de Boer, has had three Michelin stars since 2004. "We still do it with so much pleasure. We enjoy it. But we can't do it without our team. Alone we are nothing," Therese said at the presentation.
People in the Netherlands are drinking less coffee, but are more willing to spend more for a quality cup of the caffeinated beverage. In liters, the amount of coffee consumed in the Netherlands decreased by roughly 8 percent since 2005. But the amount of money spent on coffee increased by 20 percent, NOS reports based on figures from the Euromonitor.
Animal rights organization Wakker Dier is calling on those considering quail for Christmas dinner to rather reconsider, or at least avoid buying these game birds at Albert Heijn and Jumbo. The two Dutch supermarket chains are selling quail without an animal welfare quality mark this year, the organization said.
Chocolate spread marketed for babies "from the age of 8 months" by De Kleine Keuken won the most misleading product of the year award by food watchdog Foodwatch. The chocolate spread got 23 percent of the more than 10 thousand votes.
The average Joe in the Netherlands eats dinner at the table, usually a home cooked meal, and does not watch television or use their phone during dinner time, according to a study by the Nutrition Center, AD reports.
The Nutrition Center questioned a thousand people in the Netherlands about their eating habits. 52 percent said they talk with a partner or family members during dinner, a quarter said they watch TV, and 2 percent said they check social media. Around 20 percent said they have dinner with no distractions at all.
Food watchdog Foodwatch opened voting for its annual most misleading product of the year election - the so-called Gouden Windei award. This year there are eight nominees, including Lipton Matcha iced tea, which contains nearly no matcha tea, and two from Albert Heijn - goat's milk cheese spread that is made mostly of cow's milk, and seasonal vegetables it imports from the other side of the world.