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Authorities Recall Processed Pork Products

by 5m Editor
19 December 2008, at 6:40am

ROMANIA - The Romanian authorities are recalling from the market all the processed pork products which are containing Irish pork meat.

The total of 133.6 tones of potentially contaminated Irish pork meat reached Romania through shipments coming via Belgium, France, Poland, Hungary and Italy. Presently, out of the 133.6 tones just 34 tones were detained by the sanitary-veterinary inspectors, the rest being already processed. The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority recommends as safety measures to dispose of all the meat products bought already as these could be contaminated.

On 9 December, the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority of Romania received from the European Commission the first notification announcing that shipments with pork meat potentially contaminated with dioxin reached Romanian territory. The notification received via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) was announcing that 3.6 tones of pork meat potentially contaminated with dioxin were delivered from Ireland, through Belgium to Romania. In the course of two days, the Romanian authorities received another two notifications informing about another 90 tones more coming from Ireland.

The EC notifications were informing the National Sanitary-Veterinary and Food Safety Authority on the potentially contaminated meat delivered to Romania as follows:

  • notification received on 9 December –about 3.6 tones pork meat coming from Ireland via Belgium;

  • notification received on 10 December –about 70 tones pork meat coming from Ireland via France, via Poland and Hungary;

  • notification received on 11 December –about 20 tones pork meat coming from Ireland via Italy.

Additionally to the 93.6 tones identified based on EC notifications, another 40 tones of meat originating from Ireland and potentially contaminated was located by the sanitary-veterinary inspectors during the national investigation process.

At the time of receiving the notifications, the total of 133.6 tones was already distributed in Romania at national level, reaching 26 counties (Arges, Gorj, Vaslui, Alba, Cluj, Caras- Severin, Dâmbovita, Maramures, Timis, Olt, Bistrita-Nasaud, Prahova, Teleorman, Suceava, Neamt, Sibiu, Mehedinti, Bihor, Ialomita, Vrancea, Hunedoara, Satu-Mare, Bacau, Braila, Ilfov and Bucharest). Presently, out of the 133 tones of contaminated pork meat, just 34 tones are detained by the sanitary-veterinary inspectors, the rest being already shipped to other smaller distributors, supermarkets, processed or is already sold to consumers.

For the remaining 99.6 tones which are already processed, the National Sanitary-Veterinary and Food Safety Authority was sending out notifications to recall the products from the market, as per EC Regulation 178/2002. These 99 tones will be identified eventually and detained for disposal, if the quantity is not already consumed. The meat was pour quality, used mainly for processed food like salami, sausages and meat balls meat.

The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority recommends as safety measures to dispose of all the meat products bought already as these could be contaminated. The sanitary-veterinary inspectors are continuing the investigation and control actions at national level.

Following a request from European Commission (Directorate General Health and Consumers), EFSA was issuing on 10 December a statement regarding the effect of dioxin on human health.

EFSA calculated several exposure scenarios assuming three different dioxin concentrations in the pork (50, 100, 200 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), and three different proportions of contaminated meat (100, 10 and 1 per cent). In very extreme cases, assuming a daily consumption of 100 per cent contaminated Irish pork, for a high consumer of pork fat during the respective period of the incidence (90 days), at the highest recorded concentration of dioxins (200 pg WHO-TEQ/g fat), EFSA concludes that the protection would be reduced, but not necessarily lead to adverse health effects.

Further Reading

- You can view the statement regarding the effect of dioxin by clicking here.