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article imagePork found in Halal food in Norway and UK

By Anne Sewell     Mar 15, 2013 in Food
With companies testing for horse meat worldwide, other scandals just keep turning up, this time with pork being found in kebab meat and pizza toppings that were labeled halal, or suitable for Muslims to eat.
Under Islamic law, Muslims are forbidden to eat pork, and their food is labeled "halal" to show that it is fit for consumption by Muslims.
With the recent scandal raging through Europe over horse meat in various supermarket products, more and more companies are now insisting on tests to discover if horse meat, or horse DNA, is to be found in meat products.
However, in Norway, the food inspectorate said on Friday that in recent tests no horse meat was found. Instead, pork has been discovered in "halal" kebab meat and pizza toppings, while in the UK, a British meat company had to apologize after pork was found in halal chicken sausages supplied to at least one school.
According to Ragnhild Arnesen, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, with the horse meat scandal hitting Europe recently, the agency has been testing meat products for horse meat. In the process they discovered that some products contained large amounts of pork, even though labels said that they were 100% beef.
“We found the pork both in kebab meat in grocery stores and meat used in fast-food eating places,” Arnesen said.
“We consider this to be serious and have begun criminal proceedings against two producers - Kuraas, the company that sold pork as halal meat - and another producer, Norsk Mesterkjoett, whose products were labeled 100% beef but contained more than 60% pork,” she said.
Catherine Signe Svinland, an adviser at the food safety watchdog told the media, "We will file a complaint against the producer."
"In a halal product, there should be no pork at all and when we find such quantities ... we don't believe it's an accident but it is in fact fraud," she said.
Speaking for Kuraas AS, marketing manager Kenneth Kurass told the media, "We buy huge quantities of halal meat and we can show invoices corresponding to what we bought and sold."
"Pork ending up in these products is simply due to routines not being followed," he said adding that a labeling error may have been the problem.
"Our theory is that it happened when the meat was labeled," he said.
Apparently Kuraas AS has now recalled all the fast-food meat from supermarkets and restaurants and has issued an apology on its website. The company says it is now working with the food authority to try to find out how the pork ended up in the allegedly halal products.
More about Norway, United Kingdom, Halal, Food, Pork
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