It came to light over the weekend that for at least 13 years the Icelandic brewing and food supplies company Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson has been selling industrial salt to food production companies to put in their products.
Industrial salt and food salt are extremely similar products and Egill Skallagrímsson claims not to have known that industrial salt is not classified as fit for consumption. It has also been revealed that the company was trading the salt to food companies with the blessing of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, Matvælastofnun. The principle difference between salt for food and salt for chemical production or road de-icing is the care taken with regard to health and safety. Producers of industrial salt have much less strict requirements placed upon them.
It is believed the salt has been unwittingly used by many companies including SS, MS Iceland Dairies, Kjarnafæði, Síld og fisk, Norðan fisk and Matfugl.
MS Iceland Dairies this morning decided to recall five product lines because of the controversy. The company says one of its production plants has been using the salt and that it was only one percent of the company’s total salt use. The five products are: Klípa, Létt og laggott, Grjónagrautur (rice pudding), Hrísmjólk and smyrjanlegur rjómaostur (spreadable cream cheese).
An update regarding this story can be read here.