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