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Ferris: Burger contamination highlights need for food traceability

16 January, 2013 - by Martin Ferris TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Agriculture, Martin Ferris has said that the contamination of beef burgers sold in supermarkets here highlights the need for a greater level of food traceability. He also said that the source of food products should be identified on packaging and that food retailers needed to be encouraged to sell food produced in Ireland. Deputy Ferris was speaking during a special debate which he succeeded in having on the issue this afternoon in the Dáil.

Deputy Ferris said: “I and others have long called for a more comprehensive system of food traceability and labelling in this country. While the fact that the contamination was detected by the FSAI and that an enquiry has been established is to be welcomed, there needs to be positive steps taken on foot of this.

“Chief among them needs to be the tracing of all food products and the labelling by source of origin on all packaging. This country has a high standard of food production and needs to be protected from potential damage of this nature given the uncertainty among consumers regarding the source of food.

“The Minister needs also to make known the names of the companies in Spain and the Netherlands which he claims supplied the contaminated product and whether either of those companies are owned in part or in whole by any of the Irish companies which processed the burgers.

“Retailers need to be encouraged to buy Irish produced food. As indeed do public agencies, in the light of a recent claim by the HSE that they were under no obligation to access food from Irish producers.

“I would hope that the report on the burger contamination will be completed shortly and that the Minister will move to implement procedures regarding traceability and labelling.”

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