Firm asks to donate mislabelled products

2013-02-22 22:26
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Helsinki - A Finnish food company said on Friday it had asked authorities to green-light a plan to donate its products found to contain horsemeat to charities for the poor.

Food company Pouttu on Thursday withdrew more than five ton of kebab dishes from sale after the company's internal tests found traces of horse meat in products listing other meats on their labels.

Chief executive Pekka Kosonen said the idea had come from social media users who were concerned about the environmental effects of destroying tons of meat.

"We thought it was a good and honourable idea, and if the authorities give us the green light, we are ready to give these dishes to charities," he said.

Unlike other food companies hit by the European horsemeat scandal, Pouttu said it knew the origin of the horsemeat, and that only the labelling had been erroneous.

"We produce several dishes from horsemeat that come from Brazil and Canada, and we have certificates of origin from our suppliers," said Kosonen.

The Finnish Food Safety Authority, Evira, said it had no objection in principle to the proposal.

"If the origin of the meat can be established and it was kept frozen, the authorities may under certain conditions give the green light despite the mislabelling of the packaging," said the agency's head of food control, Kyoesti Siponen.

This time round consumers would be correctly informed about the contents of the products, he added.

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