Tyrone firm blamed for pork in halal food
The company which supplied halal food found to contain traces of pork DNA was named today.
Food distributor 3663 identified McColgan Quality Foods Limited, based in Strabane, Co Tyrone, as the source of “the very small number of Halal savoury beef pastry products” found to contain pork DNA which it supplied to prisons.
In a statement, 3663 confirmed that all Halal products from this manufacturer had been withdrawn from supply.
The statement said: “3663 would like to clarify that the very small number of Halal savoury beef pastry products that have been withdrawn from supply were only ever distributed to custodial establishments.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“All Halal products from this manufacturer have been withdrawn,” the company said.
Islamic law forbids the consumption of pork.
A spokesman for McColgan's said in a statement: "McColgan's can confirm that it is proactively co-operating with the Food Standards Agency and its local representatives following the discovery of trace elements of porcine DNA in a limited number of halal-certified pastry products which are supplied to 3663 as part of its contract to The Prison Service.
"McColgan's has already taken swift measures to identify, isolate and withdraw all of the products which are supplied to The Prison Service while an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding this deeply regrettable and unforeseen incident takes place.
"McColgan's is keen to stress that at no point has pork of any kind been included in the recipes of any of the halal-certified products it supplies."
3663 have said they are "shocked" and described as "wholly unacceptable" that some of the Halal products they supplied were found to contain pork DNA due to McColgan Quality Foods being accredited by the Halal Food Authority.
On an Invest Northern Ireland-backed website, McColgan Quality Foods - based in Strabane, County Tyrone - is said to be "approved for the preparation of Halal product".
The website lists McColgan customers to be popular supermarket brands including Lidl, Nisa, Spar and Costcutter.
It states McColgan specialises in "a wide range of chilled & frozen, sweet & savoury convenience foods for retail and foodservice".
The revelation follows the recent scandal over horsemeat contamination.
On Thursday Burger King dropped the Irish food processing plant which supplied burgers contaminated with horse DNA.
The Silvercrest plant in Co Monaghan, part of the ABP Food Group, has lost contracts with the major fast food chain and also supermarkets Tesco, Aldi and the Co-operative Group.