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article imageOp-Ed: Icelandic 30% beef meat pies contained no meat

By Ken Hanly     Mar 2, 2013 in Food
Reykjav - The Food and Veterinary Authority of Iceland or MAST investigated meat pies from a natural food company in order to make sure there was no horse meat as has been found in meat from a number of European companies.
Gaedakokkar is a high end natural food company in western Iceland. It was found that their meat piess that were listed as having 30% beef had no beef at all. Kjartan Hreinsson, an Icelandic meat inspector, noted that his team found no horse meat, in fact they found no meat at all. In a telephone interview he said:"That was the peculiar thing, It was labeled as beef pie, so it should be beef pie." There were not even traces of any animal protein in the meat pies according to MAST official Hjalti Andrason. Andrason said that they expect that the filling is some type of vegetable protein but this is not yet confirmed.
This discovery has been a severe blow to the business which employs ten people and has been in business since 1999. Stores have thrown out their products and company phones are constantly ringing. Magnu Nielssohn owner of Gaedakokkar said the development has "punctured his business model". He said to Wall Street Journal:“It’s sad that MAST takes one pie from one store and then goes out and just kills me in the news. MAST went into one store and bought one pie, which they tested. They sent us a mail and I was shocked...we are a small company and everybody’s trying to do their best. We went through our production and discovered that the way we mixed the beef pie stuffing–by hand–didn’t mix the stuffing evenly enough.”
Nielssohn claims that the pie stuffing was moved to a machine that mixes the stuffing evenly but this has happened after the company reputation is already ruined. The company makes about 60 different products with no additives. It may not go out of business as customers are cancelling orders.
The company started out making high-end organic products. Originally the meat pies contained only meat but Neilsson said that after the financial crisis the company added vegetable stuffing and soy protein so as to lower the price of the products as Icelanders could not afford the high priced pure meat meatballs.
Some vegetarians have phoned Neilssohn and told him he should just make vegetarian meatless pies. Mr. Neilssohn, however, claimed that he was in the business of making meat pies and there should be meat in them. Any further action will be taken by municipal health authorities.
One wonders if Mr. Neilssohn is correct about the test being made on only one pie. Even if it was only one pie, one would think that there would at least be a trace of beef even if the mixing was not perfect. At least no Iceland ponies have been slaughtered to make his pies.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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