Last weekend, the Irish government ordered a total recall of all pork products produced since September 1st, following the discovery of contamination in pig feed by a dioxin known as PCB. They advised consumers not to eat Irish pork and ordered shops to remove all pork products from their shelves immediately. The source of the contamination was located to one animal feed producer but all pork products were recalled as there was no way of determining which were contaminated. This total ban on pork has spelt a death knell to the Irish pig industry.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded today that there is little concern for human health arising from the discovery of dioxin in some Irish pork. We are now told that the toxic pork products are not a cause for concern as the risk to consumers is very low. Apparently, you would need to eat large quantities of the chemical over a long period of time before there would be any risk to your health. I took them at their word and used a pork fillet from my freezer to prepare a meal for this evening. It makes no sense to throw away good food which has been declared safe to eat.
Irish pig meat producers are tonight demanding the immediate re-opening of the country’s processing plants as the closures are threatening the livelihood of those working in the pig industry. Once normal production resumes, a new quality assurance label will be introduced for all pork products in an effort to re-establish consumer confidence in pork.
The pig farmers and producers are going to need your support when pork reappears in the shops. There’s never been a better excuse to cook-up a full Irish breakfast. Enjoy it while it lasts!