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Pig feed contamination suspected during recycling process

Recycled food products are at the centre of investigations into the source of dioxin contamination which has affected Irish pork.

Pork products have been pulled off supermarket shelves as the Food Standards Authority (FSA) warned against eating pork from the Irish Republic. However, the FSA stressed consumers are unlikely to be at any 'significant risk'.

Concerns were raised when a sample of pig carcasses were routinely tested revealing a high level of dioxin-like PCBs. The affected animal was traced back to its farm of origin and food it had eaten was also tested. This was also found to be contaminated.

The pig feed had come from Millstream Recycling, near Bunclody, County Wexford, which is now helping the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAF) with investigations into the contamination.

In a statement the company confirmed it had been working with DAF officials to identify the source of PCBs found in pig meal in a number of farms in Ireland.

“Accepting the need for a recall, Millstream will be carrying out a full investigation to establish how the company’s strict health and safety procedures and the high quality standards could possibly have been breached,” the statement said.

“In the meantime, Millstream will continue to work with DAF to ensure that any product sold to the pig industry in recent weeks is identified and recalled.”

The Irish Times reported that although oil from the recycling plant has yet to be analysed, experts working on the case believe fumes from the drier may have caused the problems.

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