Berlin is at the top in so few disciplines that we have to be very proud of one: The “Berlin Transport Concept” has defined nationwide since 1991 how a real doner kebab works. No wonder that all authorities pull together when it comes to kebab sovereignty; even the administrative court joins in, seasoning the favorite dish with demure legalese. This time, a district office seized 121 “non-frozen doner kebab kebabs of disputed production origin made from chicken” and prohibited their “marketing as food”.

However, the answer to the why question leads far beyond Berlin into the EU nitty gritty, and it requires concentration. Because the skewers were found at a subsidiary of the company in question, for which they did not have a production permit. “We made them all in the head office!” said the boss, “they only store them here.” But the district office replied: “Nope, we don’t think so.” Because it was actually produced there, supposedly just for testing purposes.

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This dug a root of European food law, namely the “traceability of food at all stages of production, processing and distribution”. The administrative court therefore rejected the producer’s urgent application and gave him one more consolation: He could use the meat for “alternative use outside of human consumption”. If a dog or cat smells like doner kebab soon, then we know what that meant.