The food minister, Dan Jørgensen, has blasted the food authorities, Fødevarestyrelsen, over its handling of the listeria outbreak that has claimed the lives of 12 people in Denmark over the past year.
A Fødevarestyrelsen report has showed there were serious errors in its handling of the case and concluded that it should have carried out its investigation into the source of the outbreak, Jørn A Rullepølser, more quickly and effectively.
“When it is proved there is a direct connection between the food products and deaths, the authorities should immediately launch a thorough investigation of the specific company,” Jørgensen said in a press release. “That hasn’t happened quickly enough, which is lamentable.”
In the aftermath of the listeria scandal, Fødevarestyrelsen has looked into changing its internal procedures, and Kim Sigsgaard, its head of preparedness, has been demoted.
The Food Ministry wrote that the listeria case will lead to more stringent food product controls, while a full investigation of the listeria case – which will include independent experts from home and abroad – will be launched.
“Denmark has very high food product standards and an effective controls system, but when we experience so serious an outbreak, we must see if we can improve even more,” Jørgensen said.
The minister has sent the report to parliament’s food product committee and invited them to discuss the case on Wednesday.