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FSA advice on Irish pork

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently advising consumers not to eat pork, or products where pork is the main ingredient, that are labelled as being from the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland. This includes food such as sausages, bacon, salami and ham.

Following enquiries by the Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI), it has been confirmed only 10 pig farms in the Republic of Ireland were supplied with feed contaminated with dioxins. Pigs from these farms have been supplied to four processors. Dioxins are chemicals that get into food from the environment – they are associated with a range of health effects when there is long-term exposure to them at relatively high levels.

Dr Andrew Wadge, FSA chief scientist, said: "The risk to UK consumers is very low. This is because you would need to eat large quantities of the chemical over a long period of time for there to be any risk to your health."

The FSA is currently advising:

  • retailers and caterers to remove from sale pork products manufactured from 1 September 2008 in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • manufacturers not to use pork from products manufactured from 1 September 2008 in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, if shops and caterers can demonstrate their product is not affected by this incident, it can be sold.

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