Oslo, 5 Jumadil Awwal 1434/16 March 2013 (MINA) – Facing growing complains from Norwegian Muslims, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority said Friday, March 15, it would file a police complaint against a food company after finding large quantities of pork in its halal-labeled products.
“We will file a complaint against the producer,” Catherine Signe Svinland, an adviser at the food safety watchdog.
“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.
According to OnIslam report monitored By Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Kebab meat sold by Norwegian group Kuraas to restaurants contained between five and 30 percent pork even though it was marked as halal, the agency found.
The authority also said it had found more than 60 percent pork in pizza meat sold by another Norwegian company. Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.
The discovery of pork traces in halal food has shocked European Muslims over the past weeks. On Thursday halal chicken sausages served to pupils in central London schools and nurseries were revealed to contain traces of pork.
Last February, a supplier of halal meat in Britain has been suspending after traces of pork were found inside meat pies and pasties submitted to prison.
Norwegian group Kuraas denied any wrongdoing. “We buy huge quantities of halal meat and we can show invoices corresponding to what we bought and sold,” marketing manager Kenneth Kuraas told news agency NTB.
“Pork ending up in these products is simply due to routines not being followed,” he added.
European countries have been marred by a horsemeat scandal over the past weeks.
Since the first horsemeat was discovered in frozen meals and burgers in Britain and Ireland last month, traces have been found in meat products across Europe.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has withdrawn meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in a batch made in Sweden. Swiss food giant Nestle also said it had found horse DNA in meat from the Spanish supplier, Servocar.
The discovery comes as European agriculture ministers meet for talks expected to focus on the growing horsemeat scandal.
Norwegian Muslims are estimated at 150,000 out of the country’s 4.5 million population, mostly of Pakistan, Somali, Iraqi and Moroccan backgrounds.
There are nearly 90 Muslim organizations and Islamic centers across the northern European country.(T/P05/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)