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Exports Keep Danish Chickens Salmonella-Free

by 5m Editor
7 May 2010, at 11:18am

DENMARK - The Danish broiler industry is alleged to be exporting its Salmonella problem by sending Salmonella-positive broiler flocks to processing plants in other countries.

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.

Copenhagen Post cites the article, saying that the poultry industry has made efforts in recent years to have its domestically-sold chicken be 100 per cent salmonella-free. However, it says that farmers are shipping those birds that do not meet that requirement to foreign slaughterhouses, according to independent industry association, DFP.

Gunder Jensen, board member of DFP, says: "The practice is hypocritical and a double standard. 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 continued that the authorities should shut down producers who are not 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 last year. 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 any closure of producers' facilities is up to the Food and Veterinary Administration, according to Copenhagen Post.

He said: "It isn't anything that we decide 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."