Tests by FSA in Norway, found pork in halal labeled products

Tests by FSA in Norway, found pork in halal labeled products
Norwegian FSA has found pork in five halal products, contrary to what the label of the products say. One of them was a halal labeled wiener sausage.

- It is unacceptable that companies that want to produce food labeled as "halal", do not have sufficient routines. We will follow up on this, and we clearly see the need to continue with these tests, says FSA's section chief Randi Edvardsen.

Smedstuen Farm, which is the company behind the product "Beef Wiener Halal", is confirming pork was found in the sausage, but claims that it is due to human error - allegedly only in one occasion. Pork-free products will in fact be produced first, to prevent contamination of pork. The routine was broken when beef sausage was produced in April last year, according to CEO Arne Kristian Sandin.

- It seems that the order of production was broken on one occasion, and therefore it may have been remnants of pork production on the equipment when the sausage was made, says Sandin, to ABC Nyheter.

It was subsequently sampled several products from Smedstuen farm, without finding pork where no pork should be, he says.

Smedstuen farm quit the halal business in January this year, after having certification from the Islamic Council Norway. According to Sandin they took the decision themselves.

Deliberately added

FSA has investigated 53 products in Trondheim, Stavanger, Bergen, Oslo, and in Nordland. Samples are taken by both manufacturers, shops and takeaways.

Pork was found in five of them. In three of the cases, it may be about the pork inadvertently was mixed into the beef, while the FSA believes that in the last two cases such a large percentage of pork had been added that it must have been deliberate.

One of them is a dinner sausage from Fana Meat Bergen, which contained more than 5 percent pork.

The second case was imported "Russian Pelmini", a product similar to ravioli, where more than 30 percent pork was found.

It is not the first time FSA in Norway discover pork in halal products. A similar case was exposed last year, when the FSA found pork in kebabs labeled halal.

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