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Minister Smith confirms conditions to allow sale of Irish pork and bacon

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD today confirmed that all the necessary controls are now in place to enable the restoration of supplies of Irish pork and bacon to consumers. These controls, which were developed since Sunday, allow those involved in the pigmeat industry to resume the supply and sale of Irish pork and bacon products.

The Minister said all such products would carry a special label, developed by An Bord Bia, which will confirm that they are perfectly safe to consume and verified them as having had no association with the potentially contaminated feed.

The controls will be implemented by Department or local veterinary authority personnel at pigmeat slaughtering and processing plants. The purpose of the controls is to ensure that only pigmeat certified as coming from herds that are completely unaffected by the current feed contamination issue enters the food chain and is supplied to consumers.

Minister Smith said that "The decisive and rapid action to remove all pork and bacon products from shelves last weekend allows us to restore supplies in which the consumer can have full confidence. Today's action is part of a determined domestic and international marketing campaign."

Specific details of the control arrangements are attached and are available on the Department's website and a special helpline number is available at 1800 30 30 52.

Notes for Editors:

In respect of pigmeat produced between 1st September 2008 and 7th December 2008

If the processor can demonstrate to the Competent authority (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food or Local authority Veterinary Service) that individual consignments of pig meat or pig meat products were entirely derived from pigs which did not come from any of the restricted pig herds, then these consignments can be released onto the market.

For pigmeat and pigmeat products produced prior to 1st September 2008

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is satisfied, based on the current available information, that the pigs from which these products were derived were not fed any of the dioxin contaminated pig feed. These products can remain on the market.

Date Released: 10 December 2008