BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

UK

Last Updated: Monday December 08 2008 14:53 GMT

What's the problem with Irish pork?

Nicole Berberian

Sausages and bacon from farms in Northern Ireland and the Republic have been taken off supermarket shelves after they were found to have harmful things called dioxins in them.

Ricky spoke to food expert Nicole Berberian to find out if we should be worried about it.

What are dioxins and why are they bad?

Dioxins are produced as a waste product in factories when chemicals are heated up.

They are not supposed to get into the environment and if they get into our bodies they can be bad for our health.

How did they get into the pork?

Officials think some oil that had dioxins in it may have dripped into the animal feed in the factory, which was eaten by pigs on the farms.

When the pigs were made into sausage and bacon, the dioxins were passed on again into our food.

How worried should you be if you've eaten pork recently?

It's unlikely that you will have eaten enough pork to have done you any damage.

You really have to eat a lot of affected sausages or bacon over a long period of time before they did you any harm so you shouldn't be too worried about it.

The advice is to check where your meat has come from.

How can you tell where your meat has come from?

All the meat you buy in the supermarket is labelled and should tell you where it comes from.

If it comes from Ireland or Northern Ireland, the advice at the moment is to avoid it.