December 15, 2008

Northern Irish oil plant investigated over contaminated pork scandal 


A Northern Ireland oil recycling facility is being investigated by the Irish environment agency over the pork contamination scandal last week.

The Environment Agency said its investigations were at an early stage. It would not identify the firm, but said it is based in Tyrone County.

Meanwhile, Ireland's agriculture minister Brendan Smith has announced how supplies of Irish pork are to be restored.

Smith said that special labelling will confirm pork as having had no association with contaminated feed.

Slaughtering of pigs in the Republic resumed on Thursday (Dec 11, 2008) after the Irish government agreed to set up a EUR180 million contingency fund to help the pork industry meet the cost of the product recall.

European health watchdogs gave the all-clear on Wednesday (Dec 10, 2008) to pork from the Republic of Ireland and confirmed eating pork over the last three months posed no serious health risk.

Officials at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found consumers should not be worried if they ate Irish pork even if it was contaminated with a possible cancer-causing toxic. But the Parma-based agency said it also supported the Irish government's total recall.

Its experts found eating an average amount of Irish pork every day during the 90-day contamination period from September 1 and caused no concerns even if 10 percent of the meat and fat was infected at the highest level.

US$1 = EUR0.743 (Dec 15)

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