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Salmonella chicken shipped abroad from Denmark

Several farms where salmonella outbreaks were reported allegedly continued to sell their chickens to companies abroad, reports state.

While Danish food authorities and the poultry industry are struggling to keep foreign chickens with salmonella out of the country, infected meat is still being exported for sale abroad, reports financial daily Børsen.

The poultry industry has made efforts in recent years to have its domestically-sold chicken be 100% salmonella-free. But that hasn’t prevented farmers from shipping those birds that don’t meet that requirement to foreign slaughterhouses, according to independent industry association DFP.

"The practice is hypocritical and a double standard," said Gunder Jensen, board member of DFP. "We don’t want it here in our country, but we’re fine with selling it to others. And it’s usually the same few chicken farmers with whom we repeatedly have these problems."

Jensen said the authorities should shut down producers who aren’t living up to the proper requirements.

According to DFP’s figures, there were 26 Danish poultry farms where salmonella outbreaks were registered that still shipped their product abroad in 2009. By doing so the producers were able to avoid violating the stringent requirements that ensure no salmonella-infected poultry is sold to Danish consumers.

Ole Høegh Sørensen, president of the Danish Poultry Council, said closure of producers’ facilities is up to the Food and Veterinary Administration.

"It isn’t anything that we decide," he said. "But if a producer sends an animal abroad then it’s because there’s a demand for it, and we have free trade across borders."

Source: Copenhagen Post

Natalie Berkhout

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