Switzerland fears the wurst over iconic sausage shortage

GENEVA - A campaign to save Switzerland’s national sausage-the cervelat-reached parliament Thursday as the economy minister called on manufacturers to use alternative ingredients.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 6 Mar 2008, 6:48 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:17 PM

The cervelat has come under threat after a ban was slapped on Brazilian cows-whose intestines are a vital ingredient in the sausage’s skin-over mad cow disease concerns in 2006.

Economy minister Doris Leuthard assured parliament that the long-term target is to be able to import Brazilian cow’s intestines again, once a review is done to ascertain that the produce is safe for import.

However, in the meantime, there needs to be a Plan B, she said, suggesting that alternative materials such as collagen or artificial intestines be used in place.

But Rolf Buettiker, a parliamentarian and chairman of the Swiss meat manufacturers association, noted that stocks of intestines currently available will only suffice until the end of the year.

He said that Leuthard’s answer suggests that one would need to wait a while before a permanent solution is found.

He warned that the problem should not be underestimated, and said that in the cervelat there is a mixture of ‘down-to-earth simplicity, the romanticism of the campfire, and national pride’.

Some 160 million cervelats are consumed in Switzerland each year, and there are fears that the ban would result in a cervelat shortage during the Euro 2008 football championships taking place in June.

In January, a multi-disciplinary taskforce of veterinarians, meat producers, and bureaucrats was created to save the cervelat.

‘We are not waiting for the import problem to be solved, rather we are preparing for all instances with alternative solutions... A difficult problem gives us the chance to strengthen the value of a ’very normal’ meat product,’ said the taskforce in a statement then.

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