Norwegian grocery store chain REMA 1000 was recalling all chicken sold in its stores from May 4-10, because of fears it may be infected with the E-coli bacteria. Anyone who has eaten chicken from REMA 1000 and fallen ill during the past week was urged to contact a doctor.
Alarms rang when a routine control of 48,000 chickens produced for REMA 1000 by Sør-Trøndelag-based poultry firm Norsk Kylling and slaughtered on May 9 revealed traces of E-coli. Chicken from Norsk Kylling is distributed to REMA stores nationwide in both fresh and frozen form.
“To be on the safe side, we’re asking that everyone who bought chicken from us that was produced from May 4 to 10 either be thrown out or returned to the stores,” Kjell Stokbakken, chief executive of REMA 1000, told state broadcaster NRK on Friday. “We have no indications that there’s any E-coli in the product from these other days, but we want to be as careful as possible.” Customers will receive refunds for the returned chicken.
It’s the latest blow to the REMA grocery chain, which has been having a difficult year following some failed marketing programs and a loss of market share. REMA has already pulled all the chicken from its shelves and Norsk Kylling declared that it was taking the situation very seriously. “We shall deliver food that’s safe to eat,” Stokbakken said.
Officials at state food authority Mattilsynet said it was almost unavoidable that small quantities of bacteria find their way into fresh meat when it’s slaughtered and that most don’t pose a problem.