Defence Minister Fotis Fotiou on Tuesday gave assurances that imported chickens with Islamic symbols on their packaging aimed for the National Guard were withdrawn and were not consumed.
In statements to the press after confirmation the chickens imported from Holland bore the certificate "Halal" on packaging which means that they were suitable for consumption by Muslims, Fotiou said:
"The specific case concerns a delivery last Friday from a specific company for the first time of chickens from Holland, which did not meet certain specifications."
"It is crystal-clear that I do not make any allowances when it comes to the safety and hygiene of nutrition of conscripts," he added.
Fotiou noted that there was a problem with the weight of the chickens (they were 100grms heavier) and with the stamp of the abattoir so their origin was unclear.
"There was also a problem with the markings on the paper boxes of the chickens and I believe it was totally correct that the National Guard and the Defence Ministry withdrew all these chickens," Fotiou said.
"No chicken had been consumed. They have all been withdrawn and the procedure with the specific importer has ceased and we are getting our supply of chickens from another company in line with the agreement with the General Accountants' office," he added.
Fotiou said that the army must trust Cypriot goods and emphasis should be given to local products in line with a government decision.