Kuwait company’s licence revoked over imported sausages

September 6, 2012

A Kuwaiti company that sold imported chicken sausages containing pig fat in Ramadan had its mandatory health licence revoked, a municipality official has said.

Mohammad Gazzai Al Utaibi, deputy director general of municipality services affairs, said that the company’s sale point in the Shwaikh area was also closed down for breaking the rules.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards those who break the rules and harm public interest,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Watan on Wednesday. “The municipality is closely monitoring the sale of food stuff to ensure it passes the laboratory tests and fully complies with the required safety standards.”

However, Al Utaibi did not wish to name the company that came under fire from people for selling the pig fat-laced sausages.

Kuwaitis and Kuwait-based residents had pushed for naming and shaming the company, barring it from importing food stuff and ending commercial deals with the food maker in Brazil that exported the sausages.

The anger was compounded by the sale of the sausages during the Muslim sacred month.

On Sunday, the Municipality of Kuwait recommended the revocation of the food company’s commercial licence.

The recommendation was issued to the ministry of commerce after laboratory tests confirmed that the company failed to comply with the local regulations and to wait for the approval of the competent authorities before marketing the imported products.

The company is believed to have imported 3,000 boxes of chicken sausages from Brazil and started marketing them without waiting for the results of the customary chemical and bacteriological tests on food and dairy products in a blatant violation of the local laws.

A visit by the ministry to the stores revealed that 1,800 cartons had been distributed to stores, prompting officials to order a closure to stop further sales and to file a formal complaint to the commercial prosecution. Municipality inspectors were dispatched to withdraw the boxes that had been distributed.

Company officials have reportedly said that they were not aware that the sausages contained pig fat and relied on the assurances from the Brazilian food maker that they were “clean.”

Muslims do not eat pork and companies exporting food to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are required to ensure that the food is halal and prepared according to Islamic law.

Several GCC citizens and Muslims living in the region have called for establishing food companies in the Gulf to ensure that there are no abuses and that all the food labelled as halal does comply with Islamic rules.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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