Imported Pork Recalled Due to Possible Dioxin Contamination

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued three class two alerts for <"">Dioxin contamination in imported pork.  In all three cases, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) notified the FSIS of the possible dioxin contamination based on its routine surveillance testing. The FSIS said it has reason to believe that the retail locations listed received the recalled pork products

In the first recall, Dawn International of Acton, Massachusetts is recalling approximately 33,880 pounds of fresh pork products for possible dioxin contamination.  Routine testing revealed dioxin in pork products imported from Ireland, which were produced between September 1 and December 7, 2008 and then imported to the United States via Florida distribution centers.  The recall involves “Dawn Pork and Bacon, Pork Loin Back Ribs, Product of Republic of Ireland” in 30-pound packages and bearing a shipping label that bears the following Irish mark of inspection:  “Ireland 332 EC.”

The second class two recall involves Tommy Moloney’s, Inc, of Long Island City, in New York.  In this recall, Tommy Moloney’s is recalling approximately 4,041 pounds of fresh pork products which were sent to an array of importers in the United States.  The recall involves eight-ounce packages of  “Tommy Moloney’s Traditional Irish Breakfast Bacon, Made from imported Irish Pork.”  The product label bears the establishment number “EST. 33789″ inside the U.S. mark of inspection and also contains a “sell by” date between “Dec. 15, 2008″ and “Jan. 31, 2009.”   The pork products were produced in Ireland between September 1 and December 7, 2008, and were then exported to the United States and sent to retail stores in a variety of states, as follows:  California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

The third recall involves Rupari Food Services of Deerfield Beach, Florida.  Rupari Food Services is recalling approximately 41,020 pounds of fresh pork products, also for possible dioxin contamination and involve 44-pound (approximate weight) boxes of “Rosderra Meats, Roscrea, Pork Loin Back Ribs, Keep Frozen.” The product’s shipping label bears the Irish establishment number “EST NO. 355.”  As with the other products, the frozen pork was produced in Ireland between September 1 and December 7, 2008 and was then exported to the United States.  In this case, the recalled pork products were sent to California restaurants.

According to the Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxin actually refers to a group of what are described as super-toxic chemicals that share similar characteristics and create harm in similar ways.  The EPA notes that dioxins are likely to cause cancer in humans and also likely cause an increased risk of cancer at so-call “background levels of exposure.”  Dioxin is produced as a by-product of manufacture and burning of organic chemicals and plastics that contain chlorine.

Dioxin is the toxin involved in the Love Canal scandal in which hundreds of families had to relocate over dioxin contamination.  In addition to cancer, dioxin contamination has been linked to spina bifida and other birth defects, autism, liver disease, endometriosis, compromised immunity, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychological disorders, and nerve and blood disorders.

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