The Danish meat producers refer to Danish laws and the practice is therefore legal, according to the Copenhagen based paper Politiken.
When people in Norway, Sweden and Finland refuse the meat, it is sent back to Denmark and the Danes have no choice. The trade of salmonella infected meat is completely legal in Denmark, stated the paper’s website Thursday.
The other Nordic countries have a so-called zero tolerance towards meat that may contain salmonella, a type of bacterium which may produce extensive vomiting, people may also get a high temperature and diarrhoea. The paper stated that some people infected get blood poisoning, and in worst case scenarios young children, elderly and people with poor health may die from the infection.
Danish food industry experts claim that the practice to sell salmonella infected meat which is rejected by other countries is ethically irresponsible. The meat should at least be treated with heat first in hope of killing off the bacterium, stated Professor John Elmerdahl Olsen, who lectures in food hygiene at the agricultural college in Copenhagen.
«It may appear odd that this is legal, but it would be a double standard to close this meat out of the Danish market when it is no different than other meat sold on the Danish market,» Henrik G. Jensen, vice director at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration in Copenhagen.
Arne Jensen, sales manager, at Rose Poultry, agrees completely.
«I happen to think that it would be ethically wrong to destroy ten ton of good meat,» Jensen said, who in September received a large amount of chicken returned from Sweden which was sold in to Danish consumers.
According to Politiken, Jensen stated that less than 1 percent of the 130 million chickens which each year is slaughtered in Denmark contain traces of salmonella. Chicken imported from countries from outside the Nordic region have in comparison 18 percent of the meat traces of salmonella.