December 24, 2008


UK issues statement on Irish beef


UK's Food Standards Agency said Irish beef from cattle that have consumed contaminated feed has been withdrawn from the market.


Animals from affected herds and associated carcasses have been held on the relevant farms and at meat processing plants since early last week pending results from dioxin tests.


Still, the UK will continue to work with local authorities, the wider enforcement community and EU member states to protect UK consumers.


The food agency also said that the number of animals affected in this incident represents less than 1 percent of Ireland's national herd. The small amount of affected meat that may have entered the UK food chain is likely to have reached consumers but the risk to human health is very low.


UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) will continue to look into the issue of contaminated feed in the UK and focus on a small number of cattle herds in Northern Ireland.


All such cattle herds and associated carcasses are suspended and will not be permitted to enter the food chain unless test results show that dioxin levels are within legal limits.


Results from dioxin tests are expected early next week. In the meantime, restrictions will remain in place until the FSA is fully certain that meat from these animals can be placed on the market.


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