NI producer singled out in halal food scandal

A Northern Ireland processor has been identified as the supplier of halal food products contaminated with pork DNA, which were then supplied to the Prison Service.

McColgan’s Quality Food Limited, which is based in County Tyrone and certified by the Halal Food Authority, has been revealed by food distributor 3663 as the supplier of halal savoury beef products tainted with porcine DNA and intended to be eaten by Muslim prisoners in England and Wales.

As a result, 3663 has removed products made by McColgan’s from distribution and stated that only a very small number of halal beef savoury products were effected.

McColgan’s said action had been taken to identify, isolate and remove all of the products it supplies to the Prison Service, while an investigation is carried out into the incident. The food processor added that no pork had been included in the recipes of its halal-certified products.

In a statement group managing director of 3663 Alex Fisher said: "3663 would like to clarify that the very small number of Halal Savoury beef pastry products that have been withdrawn from supply were only ever distributed to custodial establishments.

"The products in question are from one particular food manufacturer, McColgan Quality Foods Limited, and have not been distributed to any other customer. All Halal products from this manufacturer have been withdrawn."

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced on Friday (1 February) that it had been informed a number of meat pies and pasties supplied to prisons in England and Wales were not halal, despite being labelled as such. The FSA said it was an unacceptable situation as people have the right to know what they are eating.

FSA added: “We have called an urgent meeting of major retailers and suppliers on Monday 4 February, to ensure that everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities. It is the responsibility of food businesses to ensure the food they sell contains what it says on the label.”


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