The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) was notified in early November.
Norwegian salmon farmer Måsøval has admitted that its subsidiary Pure Norwegian Seafood sold frozen salmon that was not fit for consumption.
In June 2021, Måsøval acquired a 65% stake in Pure Norwegian Seafood, a processing and sales company based in Averøy.
Pure Norwegian Seafood is primarily responsible for processing Måsøval’s seafood products and marketing and exporting these products to customers.
On October 20, 2023, Måsøval, acting as a supplier to PNS, became suspicious of irregularities within PNS operations, according to a release from Masoval on Thursday.
Prior regulatory inspections and audits had not identified these issues. In response, Måsøval’s board representatives at Pure Norwegian Seafood took immediate action, halting the irregular activities, sealing storage facilities, and initiating a product recall.
Organizational measures were swiftly implemented, and new procedures were introduced at Pure Norwegian Seafood, according to the release.
An independent investigation by EY was commissioned. The Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) was notified in early November, and ongoing communication with the authority has been maintained during the investigation.
The investigation is now concluded, with its findings handed over to the Food Safety Authority for further review. It was determined that Pure Norwegian Seafood, allowed certain customers to purchase frozen salmon that, according to Norwegian regulations, was not suitable for human consumption.
“In our opinion, the most serious thing is that the investigation reveals the systematic and hidden sale of salmon that should not have been used for human consumption. Certain customers have, on request, been allowed to buy frozen salmon that has died by itself, is injured, sexually mature or so-called floor fish,” said Pure Norwegian Seafood chairman Helge Kvalvik in the press release.
The sold fish included products that should have been discarded or processed further before export. The investigation estimates that this activity involved just under 1% of the total fish volume and approximately 0.5% of Pure Norwegian Seafood’s revenue over the last three years.
These irregular activities were halted in October 2023, and there is no indication that the products in question posed health risks to consumers.