Media: Hit or Miss - Food Standards Agency slammed for handling of Irish pork scare

All eyes were on the UK's Food Standards Agency this week as news emerged of the Irish pork scare.

Tests on slaughtered pigs in Ireland and Northern Ireland showed some pork products contained potentially harmful dioxins, threatening the £400m a year pork industry and potentially putting the public at risk. 'Hunt for the poison pork,' shouted the Daily Mirror, while The Times claimed consumers had been 'left in the dark'.

HOW I SEE IT - Conall McDevitt, MD, Weber Shandwick Northern Ireland

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) for Great Britain and Northern Ireland was far too slow off the mark. It did not put advice out to consumers until Sunday afternoon, 18 hours after the Irish recall notice was issued. When it finally did, the information available online from London did not include any specific advice to retailers, which was only made available on Monday. Safefood, the body responsible for communicating food alerts across Northern and the Republic of Ireland, did not publish an alert until Monday morning. However, the Food Safety Authority in the Republic of Ireland was quick off the mark with a full product recall, an aggressive media campaign and plenty of information on its website. - MISS.

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