Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Resumption of NI pork processing

All 36 Tesco stores are re-stocking their shelves

The processing of pigs has resumed at Northern Ireland's biggest pork factory.

Grampian Country Pork at Cookstown is working normally. Farmers have been told the company will clear the backlog of pigs on farms by Friday.

Earlier, the Food Standards Agency said the NI pork industry could resume operations after investigations into whether dioxins were present in meat.

The agency said it was confident no pigs had been fed contaminated feed.

"We are quite happy that Northern Ireland pigs are free from the contamination," said Maria Jennings of the Northern Ireland FSA.

Earlier, it emerged that 11 NI premises processed pork from the Republic and the meat was put on sale in Northern Ireland.

Pork products from the Republic were recalled over fears that pig feed at an animal meal plant was tainted with oil containing potentially harmful dioxins.

However, Ms Jennings said: "We are absolutely certain at this point in time that Northern Ireland pork is safe to eat.

"We're quite happy for processors to start processing and filling our shelves with Northern Ireland pork and pork products."

Meanwhile, all 36 Tesco stores are re-stocking their shelves with pork products, sourced from Northern Ireland.

Tesco Commercial Manger, Cliff Kells said: "We are delighted to get the all clear from the FSA and are re-stocking our shelves this morning with Tesco own-brand products sourced locally."


In the Republic, almost 1,400 pork processing workers have been laid off following the contamination scare.

At the largest pig processor in the Republic, County Offaly-based Rosderra Meats, 850 workers have been laid off and a further 650 put on protective notice.

Twelve European Union countries and nine non-EU countries have been affected by the scare.

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