This just in: Ireland recalls pork over dioxin contamination
Just weeks before the big ham-fest that is an Irish Christmas. According to Reuters: "Laboratory results of animal feed and pork fat samples obtained on Saturday confirmed the presence of dioxins, it said, with toxins at 80-200 times the safe limits."
Apparently the culprit is a batch of feedstuff that has used by many pig farmers. We've heard a lot about milk contamination lately in other parts of the world, but we're unused to hearing about this sort of contamination closer to home. The thought of sub-standard sausages, bacon and black and white puddings tears quite a hole in the Irish psyche, when you consider the universally loved traditional Irish cooked breakfast (complete with brown bread).
However, the IFA have tried to reassure consumers that "the recall was a precautionary measure" and that most pork products are still safe. In fact, IFA President Padraig Walshe added, "There will be perfectly safe pig meat on sale to consumers I expect from the middle of the week." Tell that to the people who put pork off the menus for Christmas, and probably for a good while longer after that.
Which probably means that the consumer will have to pay much more for their Christmas ham than usual. Makes you re-consider those vegetarian options a lot more closely, I think...