Norwegians worried about Danish pork safety

Norway's dominant grocery retailer and wholesaler is considering putting a halt to the import of Danish pork over MRSA concerns.

Norwegians worried about Danish pork safety
Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
The use of antibiotics in Denmark's pig industry may lead Norway’s largest retailer to stop all imports of Danish pork.
NorgesGruppen, which holds a 39.3 percent market share of Norway’s grocery industry, is considering dropping Danish pork in favour of importing from countries where the use of antibiotics is less widespread. The wholesaler’s reevaluation of Danish pork follows a Norwegian professor’s warning that the consumption of meat from Danish pigs could lead to an outbreak of the antibiotic-resistant MRSA. 
“The antibiotic-resistant bacteria worries us, but we also think it is important to listen to the signals from Mattilsynet [the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, ed.], which says it is safe to import pork from Denmark. But despite their message, we will undergo our own evaluation regarding importing pork from Denmark,” NorgesGruppen’s nutrition policy director Bård Gultvedt, told Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. 
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) has an official position that MRSA cannot be transmitted to humans through pork consumption.
“MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a contaminant in pig production. MRSA can be present in pork but all epidemiological studies show that meat is not the source of MRSA-infections or infections caused by non-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in humans,” Fødevarestyrelsen states on its website. 
“Fødevarestyrelsen does not agree with the Norwegian professor,” spokesman Per Henriksen said in response to the Norwegian concerns. 
According to Dagens Næringsliv, Danish pork is especially popular in Norway at Christmas time. 
NorgesGruppen is expected to make a final decision regarding Danish pork sometime in the coming months. 

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New Covid-19 cases make Denmark a banned country by own criteria

The infection rate in Denmark is now so high that if it were a foreign country, its residents would now be banned from entering Denmark for leisure purposes.

New Covid-19 cases make Denmark a banned country by own criteria
Tourists queue for a canal trip around central Copenhagen in mid-July. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix
According to the latest figures from SSI, the country's infectious disease agency, Denmark registered 3,486 new infections between September 1st and September 15th, bringing its weekly average to 30.02 infections per 100,000 citizens. 
Danish authorities ban tourists from countries where the number of new cases of infection per 100,000 exceeds 30 per week, and Danish residents are advised against travelling to them.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has already advised its government to put the last open regions of Denmark on its red list, meaning the entire country is likely to be off limits from  Saturday.   

According to the UK's Daily Telegraph, Denmark could be removed from the UK's quarantine-free travel list later today. 

At the same time, the Copenhagen capital region is now above the German travel threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000. 
“It's a huge challenge. We must really hope that we get a handle on the infection in Denmark,” Anders Rosbo, head of communications at the tourist organisation Visit Denmark, told state broadcaster DR
“If [the infection rate] develops so much that even Germany advises its citizens not to come up here, then it will be a major disaster.” 
German citizens accounted for a full third of the tourists visiting Copenhagen in July. 
Rosbo said that the agency had already stopped a marketing campaign in Norway and expected it would also have to pull the autumn campaign it had planned to launch in The Netherlands.