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Swedish Chicken Industry Subject to Sabotage?

by 5m Editor
14 April 2009, at 8:59am

SWEDEN - The largest producer of chicken products in Sweden, Kronfågel, has been hit by a severe food safety scare. Consumers have found pieces of glass in a wide variety of the company's chicken products. Glass is prohibited in all of its facilities, which raises concerns about sabotage, reports the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The Swedish poultry industry is hit by a severe food safety scare. On 20 March, the largest producer of chicken products in Sweden, Kronfågel, reported that a consumer had found pieces of glass in their frozen chicken breast. Kronfågel accounts for about 50 per cent of the Swedish poultry market. Since 20 March, about 15 additional findings, in a wide variety of Kronfågel’s chicken products, have been reported by consumers in different parts of Sweden. As a result of these findings, Kronfågel has decided to recall about 1,000 tons of its poultry products. The products have been produced in Kronfågel’s facilities in Sweden and Denmark. Glass is prohibited in all of Kronfågel’s facilities, which raises concerns about sabotage. Police investigations have been initiated to find out whether or not that is the case. Even the Swedish Security Service has been engaged in the case. So far, the glass has caused no injuries.

Initially, it seemed that only Kronfågel’s poultry products were affected by this glass scare, but in the past few days, findings have also been made in chicken imported from Germany. In addition, pieces of glass have also been found in chicken served at restaurants and other food products such as sausage, fruit and bread.

Total consumption of poultry in Sweden amounts to about 125,000 metric tons per year, of which almost 60 per cent is domestically produced. While Swedes tend to get over food scares pretty fast, it is hard to predict the long term effects of this food scare. It probably depends much on what is found in the police investigations. It is, however, clear that the short term effect is a major drop in chicken consumption.