Pork, horsemeat found in Bahrain food items

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief, Gulf News
Health ministry pulls out 22 products for breaking rules

imgresManama: Bahrain’s health ministry said that it had pulled out 22 imported products after inspection teams found them contaminated with either pork or horsemeat.

The tests, by the ministry in collaboration with the national laboratory and the Arabian Gulf University (AGU), covered 172 canned meat brands carrying the beef label and sold at supermarkets and fast food chains in the country. The products that were tested were from various countries, including Bahrain and the Gulf.

The ministry said that six products contained pork while 16 had horsemeat and that their labels did not refer to either.

According to the ministry, the test included only canned meat after its previous inspections cleared meat sold at fast food chains and chilled meats found in supermarkets of “contamination.”

The findings are likely to trigger angry reactions by unsuspecting consumers, mainly among Islamists who have been pushing for a blanket ban on pork products in the country.

Consumption of pork is banned in Islam, the major religion of the country, but Bahrain allows its sale in major supermarkets.

The ministry said that it imposed fines on supermarkets that sold pork products next to Halal, meat products for flouting the regulations that stipulate a separate and dedicated area for them.

In its statement, the ministry said that it would continue its “relentless campaign” against health abuses and the import of banned products.