Sales Of Pork Products After Scare Cleared By Ireland

by Hannah Punitha on  December 11, 2008 at 3:07 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
The agriculture ministry in Dublin said on Wednesday that Irish pork products can go back on sale.
 Sales Of Pork Products After Scare Cleared By Ireland
Sales Of Pork Products After Scare Cleared By Ireland

Irish pork products can go back on sale, so long as processors can prove the meat was not from herds believed to be contaminated by dioxins, the agriculture ministry in Dublin said Wednesday.

In a statement, it said Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Brendan Smith "today confirmed that all the necessary controls are now in place to enable the restoration of supplies of Irish pork and bacon to consumers".

If processors can prove that "individual consignments of pig meat or pig meat products were entirely derived from pigs which did not come from any of the restricted pig herds, then these consignments can be released onto the market", the statement said.

Nine pig producer operations in the republic have been sealed off since the discovery of cancer-causing dioxins in slaughtered pigs prompted the recall on Saturday of all Irish pigmeat.

Cows were later also found to be affected, but health authorities stressed the risks posed to the public were "extremely low" and there would be no recall of Irish beef.

The recall has caused panic in Ireland at a time when many families would have been buying their traditional Christmas ham, and dealt another blow to the recession-hit Irish economy.

Wednesday's action will be welcomed, although the ministry said it only involves meat slaughtered before the recall. A ban on slaughtering pigs, which has left about a third of the 6,000 people in the industry without work, remains.

Ireland is a major exporter of pork with 129,000 tonnes, worth 368 million euros (466 million dollars), sent to international customers last year.

The European Commission said 12 EU member states and nine other countries - including Japan and South Korea - might have received contaminated pig meat products, prompting retailers worldwide to take Irish pork off their shelves.

Source: AFP

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