ASAE, THE Portuguese food safety agency, has tracked 26 tonnes of pork contaminated with a toxic substance, dioxin. The pork had been imported from Ireland and authorities are urging consumers to destroy any Irish pork products bought within the last two months.
It is believed that the pork became contaminated through feed given to the pigs before they were slaughtered.
According to the director of operations at ASAE, Pedro Picciohi, of the 30 tonnes that came into Portugal, 26 tonnes have been tracked already by authorities while 19 tonnes have been seized by officials. Fourteen tonnes were found in a factory in Cernache, near Coimbra, while another six tonnes were taken from a company in Vila do Conde.
In total, seven locations had been identified by ASAE as being involved in the distribution and storage of the contaminated meat.
ASAE is currently recommending that Portuguese consumers refrain from purchasing pork imported from Ireland but added that other pork was safe to buy and eat from other sources.
The UK Food Standards Agency has said that they do not believe that there is a significant risk to consumers who have eaten potentially contaminated pork as adverse health effects are only likely if people are exposed to high levels for long periods.
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