Despite the fallout from the dioxin scare facing the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland’s pork supply has been cleared of any contamination.
Pork factories are resuming normal production schedules, including Grampian Country Pork in Cookstown. Farmers have been told the company will clear the backlog of pigs on farms by Friday.
The Food Standards Agency said the NI pork industry could resume operations after investigations into whether dioxins were present in meat were concluded. The agency said it was confident no pigs had been fed contaminated feed. “We are quite happy that Northern Ireland pigs are free from the contamination,” said Maria Jennings of the Northern Ireland FSA.
Pork products from the Republic were recalled over fears that pig feed at an animal meal plant was tainted with oil containing potentially harmful dioxins. However, Ms Jennings said: “We are absolutely certain at this point in time that Northern Ireland pork is safe to eat. We’re quite happy for processors to start processing and filling our shelves with Northern Ireland pork and pork products.”
In the Republic of Ireland, almost 1,400 pork processing workers have been laid off following the contamination scare. At the largest pig processor in the Republic, County Offaly-based Rosderra Meats, 850 workers have been laid off and a further 650 put on protective notice.