Norwegian supermarket recalls vegetarian burgers over unlisted allergen

Coop has recalled its ‘Vegetar-Dag’ vegetarian burgers as a potential allergen is not included in the list of ingredients.

Pictured is a supermarket.
Coop has recalled its vegetarian burger range. Pictured is a supermarket. Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Coop’s beetroot, green beans and peas, and mushroom vegetarian burgers have been recalled as egg white powder, an allergen, has not been included in the list of ingredients.

“There is a requirement that allergens must be highlighted in the list of ingredients for products so that it is easy for allergy sufferers to see this has not been done for Coop Vegetardag Burger of green beans and peas, Coop Vegetardag Burger of beets and Coop Vegetardag Burger of mushrooms. Therefore, we recall the products,” Harald Kristiansen from Coop Norway said in a press release.

Customers will be able to get a refund for the products they return.

The recall applies to the whole of Coop’s ‘Vegetar-Dag’ burger range.

“However, it is important to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with the products, but it can pose a health risk to people with egg allergies if they do not see in the ingredient list that the product contains egg white powder,” Kristiansen said.

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Sharp rise in food prices in Norway linked to lack of competition

Several everyday items in Norwegian supermarkets from sausages to milk have jumped in price this month. The Consumer Council has said that the rises are a sign of a lack of competition in the Norwegian grocery market.

Sharp rise in food prices in Norway linked to lack of competition

Since the beginning of February, many everyday items in supermarkets have increased by 10 percent or more, public broadcaster NRK has reported.

NRK compared prices of several items from different supermarkets before and after the turn of the month.

Beer, cheese, butter, sausages, soda, porridge oats and kitchen roll were among the household essentials to receive a price hike.

Some products, such as shrimp salad—a popular pålegg, or sandwich spread– rose in price by as much as 40 percent.

Online news site Nettavisen has also reported steep price rises in February. Supermarkets in Norway typically adjust their prices twice a year, once in February and then once again in July.

READ ALSO: Why is food in Norway so expensive?

The Consumer Council, which advocates consumer rights, has said that the significant price hikes are due to a lack of competition.

“The competition in the Norwegian food market is obviously too bad. It has been for a long time, and it is documented here (through reports of price hikes), Inger Lise Blyverket, director of the Consumer Council, told public broadcaster NRK.

She said that the lack of choice made it hard for consumers to vote with their feet and opt for cheaper alternatives.

“This makes it impossible for us to exercise our power as consumers, by choosing cheaper alternatives. When chains and other players in the grocery industry claim there is fierce competition, it isn’t true. Tough measures are needed,” Blyverket said.

Director of the Consumer Council, Blyverket, said that the price rises are a bitter pill to swallow, especially given that supermarkets turnovers increased sharply during the pandemic.

However, supermarkets have said they’ve been forced to raise prices as suppliers are charging more than before due to several factors.

Higher raw material prices internationally, increased shipping costs, high electricity prices, and Norwegian agriculture raising the prices of their products have meant suppliers have passed the cost onto supermarkets, which supermarkets, in turn, pass onto customers.

However, some have said that supermarkets are raising their prices beyond the additional costs passed on by suppliers.

“They (the suppliers) have found that prices in grocery stores are increasing more than the additional costs that grocery chains are paying for products,” Sigurd Birkeland, from the Norwegian Competition Authority, told NRK.