“recall from the market all Irish pork products produced from pigs slaughtered in Ireland..”

As several reports note, the Republic of Ireland’s Food Safety Authority has ordered the withdrawal and recall of all Irish pork products dating back to 1 September. RTÉ report here

It follows the discovery of a contaminant in pig feed by a dioxin known as PCB at levels between 80 and 200 times the safe limits. PCBs are highly dangerous man-made chemicals that were banned in 1979. They effect the immune and reproductive systems and can, in certain cases, cause cancers. They can still be found in certain products made before the ban came into force.

The contamination first came to light last Monday, but the positive tests in the pork was only confirmed this afternoon. The public have been advised to destroy all pork products purchased since September. Contaminated feed was used at a total of 47 farms. Nine of these were pork producing farms. The remaining 38 were beef farms, with one of those also producing pork products. But the FSA has advised that it is not necessary at this time to have a similar withdrawal of beef products.

The patriotic Irish Farmers’ Association have yet to comment.. and nothing either from the Northern Ireland Minister of Agriculture.. Update According to today’s BBC report.

Pork from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland should not be eaten at the moment, the UK’s Food Standards Agency has said.

And The UK’s FSA’s “Statement on Irish pork” Adds RTÉ report More below the fold.Adds According to the BBC report [added emphasis throughout]

Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew said restrictions had been placed on the farms on Friday.

Which is an interesting line, since according to the FSAI website

Laboratory results of animal feed and pork fat samples obtained yesterday (6 December) have confirmed the presence of dioxins.

And the alert notice, dated 6th December, states that “The Government today announced that laboratory results of animal feed and pork fat samples obtained this afternoon..”

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  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    I have a gammon joint and a pound of back in the fridge. Is partitioned pork ok? Or is there a cross border market in pig feed?

  • Ri Na Deise

    Fcuk it Im not dead yet anyway. Eat pork every day nearly in some form, so Id be affected already if there was that much wrong with it. Im not goin to be put off now anyway.

  • wild turkey

    today’s pig is tomorrow’s bacon…

    Pete, is there any indication and/or evidence how the animal feed with the’alleged’contaminants was introduced into the food chain? Willfully or otherwise?

    In the next few days it will be the patriotic duty of good Irish people; regardless of locale, religous belief or political opinion, to swallow lots of pork… well at least the pork that isn’t already in the barrel.

    .. and a free strapline for the Irish Farmers Association…. ‘ we eat what we kill and kill what we eat’

    Until this recent incident, it was generally agreed amongst professionals that the filthiest four legged animals on the planet were British Cattle and Irish politicians. Obviously time for a reassessment.

    Refreshingly, the word gombeen will not be used in this thread.

  • This Little Piggy

    I believe the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was surreptitiously given a dioxin dietary supplement which did nothing for his complexion…….

  • Harry Flashman

    I’m glad we can all be so lighthearted about the possible destruction of a huge native Irish industry, wonder will we all be laughing when thousands of workers are thrown on to the dole and dozens of businesses go bust weeks before Christmas as the already sickening Irish economy goes into meltdown.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Sure ye cant die twice. Ive eaten Irish pork near enough every day since Sept 1 and before that. If Im already banjaxed why stop eating it? Ya worry ya die, ya dont worry, ya still die. Cheer up ‘Arry.:-)

  • Harry Flashman

    “Cheer up ‘Arry.:-)”

    Believe it or not RND I’m not in the least bit concerned about your health but I am rather concerned about the fate of a major Irish industry which has actually been very well run, provides a quality product, exports it and employs thousands of Irish people and which could now face total collapse.

    I have many friends in that particular line of work and it is their livelihoods that worry me not any ill-effects which you might suffer from eating a bacon sarnie. Like you, it wouldn’t bother me in exactly the same way as I never stopped enjoying T-bone steaks during the BSE nonsense.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Well said Harry. I imagine the danger to humans is theoretical. However, consumer confidence in irish meat in general will probably be affected throughout europe and beyond. At a time of financial meltdown, this really does look quite bad.
    That said, at least it’s not some kind of infection – so controlling it should not be too difficult.

  • Rory

    Is this the work of those bloody Danes getting belated revenge for Clontarf while closing down the bacon competition?

  • RepublicanStones

    So with this recall is someones head for the chop?

    (I’ll get me coat)

  • Pigeon Toes

    No doubt it will be blamed on “computer error”

  • Pigeon Toes

    “So with this recall is someones head for the chop?”

    No the draft reportby the independent investigation into the fiasco will term it as an “error of judgement”

  • Pete, I’ve just noted this DARD press release from your MinAg link:

    “The Farm Nutrient Management Scheme (FNMS) is a key measure to improve water quality in Northern Ireland. It provides financial assistance to farmers towards the cost of additional slurry and manure storage facilities.”

    Nutrient fka fertiliser fka manure fka shit 🙂

  • Why hasn’t this advert been ‘recalled’: ‘Thick Irish Pork Sausages’?

  • Sarah Lavender

    I agree that this is a tragedy for the industry more than for consumers.

    Its also a tragic waste of life in terms of the pigs. I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t object to slaughtering animals for food, but I hate the thought of 1000s of animals being slaughtered just to end up on a dump.

    And all because someone in the feed industry screwed up.

  • iluvni

    Surely Gildernew will be making an urgent statement. She’d want to be advising the people of Northern Ireland of the potential risk of this poisonous Republic of Ireland pork and the steps she is taking to make sure none of it enters our country.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Ah, these things happen, like the recent Mad Cow’s desease scare in Britain, as well as the Foot and Mouth scare, and not forgeting the Blue Tongue outbreak last year. In comparison, food scares in EIRE don’t happen as often as in Britain.

    Anyhow, the good loyal folk of NI shouldn’t be too worried either as I’m sure they don’t spend their hard earned pounds and pence on dirty Fenian meat from the Republic of Ireland! No doubt their motto is ‘Buy British’ as they tuck into their full English breakfast (aka Ulster fry) on this Sunday morning while hoping that the economy of the Republic goes down the tubes!

  • iluvni

    Surely you arent suggesting the NI Minster for Agriculture should take chances with the health of NI consumers simply to help out the pork industry of the Republic of Ireland?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Actuaaly, How long will it be before Michelle tries to persuade us that NI Pork is safe and that it only affects pigs in the South.

    Might be happy to refer to pork produced here as ahem “British”.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Actually, How long will it be before Michelle tries to persuade us that NI Pork is safe and that it only affects pigs in the South.

    Might be happy to refer to pork produced here as ahem “British”.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Surely you arent suggesting the NI Minster for Agriculture should take chances with the health of NI consumers simply to help out the pork industry of the Republic of Ireland?”

    Oh most definitely not iluvni! That’s a ludicrous statement. But as I said the good loyal folk of NI shouldn’t be worried at all as I know that they are partiotic loyal British citizens who only buy ‘British’!

    And I’m sure you are one such loyal subject too iluvni!

    I just know that they wouldn’t support anything associated with the contaminated fenian and papist Republic of Ireland!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Surely you arent suggesting the NI Minster for Agriculture should take chances with the health of NI consumers simply to help out the pork industry of the Republic of Ireland?”

    Oh most definitely not iluvni! That’s a ludicrous statement. But as I said the good loyal folk of NI shouldn’t be worried at all as I know that they are patriotic loyal British citizens who only buy ‘British’!

    And I’m sure you are one such loyal subject too iluvni!

    I just know that they wouldn’t support anything associated with the contaminated fenian and papist Republic of Ireland!

  • iluvni

    I was just checking my pack of Tesco ham there. It says ‘packed in EU’. Thats helpful at this moment of crisis.

    We need clarity from the pig Minister.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh well it’s only an issue affecting the lives and employment of thousands of workers and the catastrophic consequences of a major export industry, it’s nothing really important like marching down a street or something related to football or anything.

    So why should the posters on Slugger O’Toole give it any serious attention eh?

  • Pete Baker

    Update from the BBC

    Pork from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland should not be eaten at the moment, the UK’s Food Standards Agency has said.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “We need clarity from the pig Minister.”

    Aye I’m sure the ‘pig’ Minister will issue you with a statement soon. Maybe you should ring her office and enquire.

    ‘Appropriate’ description too from yourself regarding ‘pig Minister’, as can be only expected from the likes of yourselves as well!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I can source the majority of my pork goods to Europa foods in Kilrea and Dunbia in Dungannon. I’ve got well over £200’s worth of stuff in the freezer and damned if I’m going to through it out. The dog will get it.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Aye Greg, before you pull me up on it, I meant threw.

  • Niall

    iluvni,

    Mate, it now looks like that this is an allireland problem.

    In any event, a problem with anything Irish is detrimental to the northern ireland brand in business and therefore not to be gloated at?

    For you and me the north/south/us/them distinctions are understood but for those beyond our shores we have to accept this is not the case?

    A vague idea (and often these stories become a vague idea) that there is poison in Irish food will hardly inspire faith in this place? Or entice the tourists either?

    Harry,

    A bad bad day. I’m often across the way at the moment and always look for products from home, including at the moment the county down Venison. This story is playing badly.

    What else can go wrong for the economy?

  • Niall

    I’ve just seen the BBC website headline. Disaster for Irish food exporters.

    The BBC website must be one of the most popular for news in the world?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Good news that Tesco’s are offering refunds for their products. I’m sure many people have stocked up for Christmas and the New year.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Eat yer meat. Most of ye are probably fcuked at this stage anyway. Ive just had a big fry for dinner. All Irish meat. Tasted as good as ever.;-)

  • George

    This is a total and utter disaster that will cost billions of euros and result in serious job losses, north and south.

    Nine northern farms already affected.

  • OC

    I like the occassional elk-burger from my local butcher!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    this from Walls is interesting and strange.

    http://www.wewantwalls.co.uk/tasty-bits/

    can anyone help?

  • iluvni

    Still no update on the DARD website.
    Scandalous.

  • JD

    You are looking at the wrong website, this is public health issue ie Food Standards Agency, DARD has supplied them with all the relevant information and their call, an unwise one in my view, has been on their website for most of the day. Where is Micheal McGimpsey he is reponsible for this agency?

  • 6countyprod

    It’s serious when it is the third item on Google World News. This has the potential to destroy the irish porc industry.

  • 6countyprod

    pork, of course.

  • LURIG

    I really fear for the farming community North & South as this has the potential to harm the ENTIRE industry. If one looks at the Belgian dioxin scare in 1999 it brought a worldwide ban on ALL Belgian agricultural products and their government collapsed. Trust and reputation are everything and for a small country like Ireland it is a bombshell. This has already made headlines around the world and can only get worse as it could take years to re-establish lost trade and markets. Remember BSE & Foot and Mouth? What we should be asking is why it took the Italians and Dutch to flag this up, where were the checks and balances in the Irish food chain? This requires a full investigation and if appropriate a public inquiry too on both sides of the border. By the way so much for Northern Ireland being part of Britain, the British government and media are heavily reporting this as an IRISH problem irrespective of borders. If it’s in the North surely it is also a British problem but they are shit scared that their pork markets and farming community will be tarnished too! What does that tell you about Perfidious Albion?

  • Rory Carr

    A BBC Radio 2 news bulletin within the last half-hour has advised British citizens to avoid the purchase of pork products firstly from Northern Ireland and then also from the Republic of Ireland. The official popular UK propaganda outlet is being particularly swineish in its treatment of “Northern Irish” pigs it would appear. This might have implications that impact upon an earlier thread. A “Northern Irish” pig remains, alas, an Irish pig. (We might do well at this stage to refuse to allow ourselves indulgence in bad parodies of a particular Shakespearean sonnet.)

    An understanding of the failure of artificial borders to protect against the the sins of the neighbouring outsider might yet permeate parts of the north-east of Ireland. As yet might pigs fly.

    The madness of that pretence of religious belief which merely masks irrational fear of material disadvantage is (thank God) well familiar and, I am sure, equally exasperating to such as Pete. Would you say?

  • 6countyprod

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious, but I cracked up at the name of the owner of the Co. Carlow feed plant in question; Mr Hogg, no less!

  • Dave

    I don’t know how the UK consumer is supposed to identify which pork products emanate from Northern Ireland since they are likely to labeled as British. Likewise, some pork products emanate from the Republic of Ireland is likely to be labelled as ‘EU’ rather than Irish. Irish pork is also exported to UK food manufacturers in unprocessed form, so it will find its way into a huge variety of products and brands. I don’t think the UK’s food safety agency is being entirely honest with the British public in creating the impression that Irish pork is easy for the consumer to identify and that, ergo, the risk to their health of eating infected pork products is easily avoided by simply disposing of Irish-branded pork.

    I wonder why the company that is suspected of supplying the infected feed to pig farmers did not have a quality inspection procedure in place and sample every batch accordingly. It seems it was only detected by random inspection from the department of agriculture. How long was this toxin in the food chain? Weeks, months or years? Is the department of health proposing to conduct an examination of a sample of pork-consumers to see if they have been infected? Why did the government apparently not grasp the devastation that could occur within a sector of the food industry if a contaminant entered it via a common supplier, and thereby act to impose quality control procedures on the suppliers that would prevent this from occurring by accident or by malice? And when will the government be in a position to say that Irish pork is again safe to eat?

    More saliently, will there still be a market for Irish pork if the government isn’t seen to be in full control of the situation? For starters, they need to climb off their arses and get a propaganda offensive going to counteract inaccurate reporting of the situation in the international media, dropping rocks on the heads of those who obscure pork products with headlines like “Imports of Irish Food Banned” creating the impression among foreign consumers that all Irish food products should be avoided.

  • ZoonPol

    http://www.dardni.gov.uk/

    What is happening?

    Is Minister Michelle Gildernew not coming onto Radio Ulster as she is working out if pigs are worth saving?