Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dioxin-Contaminated Pork From Ireland: Update #5

Some Irish Pork Back In Shops
UPDATED December 13, 2008
(Original article posted December 11, 2008)

The Irish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, together with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, announced yesterday that controls are now in place that allow the following Irish pork products to be reintroduced to the marketplace. Products approved for sale will carry a special label.

  • Pork and pork products processed from pigs slaughtered prior to September 1st.
  • Pork and pork products processed from pigs slaughtered after December 7th.
  • Pork and pork products processed from pigs that did not originate from any of the herds that had been exposed to dioxin-contaminated feed.

The UK Food Standards Agency has determined that no Northern Ireland pork was exposed to the contaminated feed. Retailers, manufacturers and caterers may offer Irish pork to consumers once more, as long as they are able to trace the origin of the pork to an unaffected farm. Composite pork products – containing 20% or less Irish pork – may be sold. Pork from Irish pigs slaughtered between September 1st and December 7th will be tested for dioxin and approved for sale if the meat is compliant with EU standards for dioxin in pork.

Belgium has announced five additional recalls of food products that consist of, or contain more than 1%, Irish pork meat. These are:

  • SPAR brand smoked bacon, 125g
  • CARREFOUR brand Saxe Flinterdun shredded filet
  • ZWAN brand "Frank" sausages, package of 6
  • FRESH CONCEPT brand mortedella, distributed by Carrefour, Cora, Delfood (Louis Delhaize, Louis l'épicier), Match & Smatch, Alvo, Spar & Eurospar, Carrefour Express, GB Carrefour, GB Express, GB Contact and GB Partner NEW Dec 13
  • MATCH and SMATCH brands of pork sausage and chorizo NEW Dec 13

Romania is tracking approximately 120 tons of dioxin-contaminated Irish pork that entered the country since September 1st. The suspect pork entered Romania from several countries, including Hungary, Belgium, Poland and France. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has advised consumers that it has no record of pork products or animal feed from the Republic of Ireland having been imported into Canada. Neither FDA nor USDA have made a corresponding announcement.

The dioxin incident appears to be well in hand. The Republic of Ireland and the European Food Safety Agency acted quickly to contain the situation and evaluate the risk to consumers. 

The investigation into how dioxin entered the animal feed is continuing, and we'll report on the progress as information becomes available.

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