Polish health authorities say the use of industrial salt in food is safe, but have nevertheless ordered thousands of kilos of food to be withdrawn from shelves in case it contains that type of salt.
Industrial salt, such as that which was sold for years by five now-arrested men to food-processing plants in Poland, is not harmful in human food, Polish health authorities said last week.
The amounts of dioxins and heavy metals in the salt, which is normally used to de-ice roads, were found to be minimal and not dangerous to human health. Nevertheless, authorities in neighboring Czech Republic have announced a temporary ban on imports of Polish salt, and Polish health authorities ordered over 230,000 kilos of food to be withdrawn from the market last Friday as a precaution.
Poland is a major exporter of food, and the country's Agriculture Ministry is taking seriously the possible negative impact of the "salt affair" on perceptions of Polish food products.
"Polish food products are healthy and safe. We will not allow our efforts [to promote Polish food] to go to waste due to the activities of a few crooks and criminals," Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said in a statement last Friday.
In 2011 Poland exported €14 billion worth of food, up by €3 billion from 2010.
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