In Denmark, the authorities have finally traced the source of a deadly food poisoning outbreak.
At least a dozen people have died since September last year after they ate meat contaminated with listeria bacteria.
As many as eight others are known to be infected.
Christina Lowies, the woman in charge of food safety at the company which processed the meat, Jorn A. Rullepolser, said: “This is the worst nightmare for any food producer. That our product has been linked to people getting sick and dying. We are very shaken and very shocked. Right now there is a lot of confusion, and we have a huge task ahead, working with the authorities, to find out how this could happen.”
As the investigation goes on, a complete halt has been ordered to production and sales of the spiced pork – a popular delicacy in Denmark.
At one large supermarket customers expressed shock.
Jesper Krüger said: “It makes you think. Something like this shouldn’t be possible in Denmark. Maybe one or two deaths, but 12 sounds like a human error, that should have been prevented.”
Shopper Charlotte Gatzeellier added: “I think it’s terrible that our food is not checked better, What else can I say, it’s gross.”
The incubation period for Listeria can be up to two months, which makes it difficult to trace the source of contamination.
Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable to Listeria. About a quarter of those infected die.
Danish health officials are checking to see if any of the contaminated meat was exported.