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View of the main aisle at the Grand Market hall in Budapest, Hungary, May 15, 2016. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Big companies are selling better food in Austria than they sell in Hungary, even thought the brands are supposed to be the same, the Hungarian government said on Thursday.

Hungary's food safety authority, NEBIH, looked at 24 products sold in both Hungary and Austria by international retailers like Lidl and Aldi. It found, among other things, that the local version of Manner wafers was less crunchy and the domestic Nutella not as mellow as the Austrian counterpart.

"I was dismayed upon reading this brief report," Janos Lazar, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, told a news conference. "I think this is the biggest scandal of the recent past."

Lazar said the government would begin a large-scale review of more products available in Hungary. He declined to say what specific action Budapest might take.

Hungary is not alone in its concern. Neighbouring Slovakia's food quality watchdog said this week it had found differences in taste, looks and composition in nearly a dozen products sold locally and in Germany and Austria.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs, editing by Larry King)

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