Oslo, Norway: Europe's embarrassing meat saga took a troubling twist after reports emerged in Norway and Britain that meat labeled 'halal', or fit for consumption by Muslims, was found to contain pork.
Norway's food inspectorate said on Friday it has found pork in kebab meat and pizza toppings that were labeled halal, while a British meat company apologised after halal chicken sausages supplied to at least one school were found to contain pork.
Muslims are forbidden to eat pork under Islamic law.
Ragnhzild Arnesen, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, said the agency was testing food for horse meat and discovered that some products contained large amounts of pork though the labels indicated they were all-beef.
"We found the pork both in kebab meat in grocery stores and meat used in fast-food eating places," Mr Arnesen said.
"We consider this to be serious and have begun criminal proceedings against two producers Kuraas, the company that sold pork as halal meat and another producer, Norsk Mesterkjoett, whose products were labeled 100 per cent beef but contained more than 60 per cent pork," she said.
Mr Arnesen said Kuraas AS has recalled all the fast-food meat from supermarkets and restaurants.
Kuraas AS issued an apology on its website, saying it was working with the food authority to determine how the pork ended up in the meat products.
Horse meat, which poses no health risk, has been discovered in beef dishes across Europe, evoking concern about mislabelling and disgust in places where it is not traditionally eaten.
Story First Published: March 16, 2013 00:35 IST