Supplier of ‘Pork in halal food’ to prisons named

Supplier of ‘Pork in halal food’ to prisons named

Halal savoury beef pastry products, supplied to UK prisons, have been found to contain traces of pork DNA. The supplier of the products has been named as McColgan Quality Foods in Northern Ireland.

The food distributor company, 3663 confirmed, in a company statement that all halal products from McColgan had been withdrawn from supply. It said: “3663 would like to clarify that the very small number of Halal Savoury beef pastry products that have been withdrawn from supply were only ever distributed to custodial establishments.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 All Halal products from this manufacturer have been withdrawn.”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’s group managing director, Alex Fisher said: “3663 is currently contracted to distribute a wide range of products including ambient, frozen, fresh and chilled foods to the MOJ all sourced from fully accredited and approved manufacturers and producers.

“Following recent publicity concerning content of horsemeat in the consumer goods foodchain, 3663 recognised a potential connection between a Halal beef producer mentioned within the FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) report and a supplier of Halal savoury beef pastry products stocked for the MOJ. We took immediate steps to inform the MOJ of this potential connection purely as a precautionary measure and together took the decision that these Halal savoury beef pastry products should be quarantined to prevent their use pending DNA testing.

“3663 initiated DNA testing on multiple production batches of the Halal savoury beef pastry products from the manufacturer in question. Disappointingly, we received evidence that within the products tested there were traces of porcine protein. These results shocked us as the manufacturer in question is accredited by the Halal Food Authority.

“3663 has removed all Halal products from this manufacturer from the supply chain and 3663 will not source any further Halal products from this manufacturer. Our sentiments echo those of the Ministry of Justice, in that this is a wholly unacceptable situation and one that we deeply regret, we are however relieved that our own prompt actions following identifying a potential risk from the FSAI report enabled the earliest possible removal of these products from sale.

“As a leading food wholesaler renowned for its high standards of diligence and professionalism, 3663 welcomes the opportunity to work with the FSA and others to improve consumer confidence in traceability within the food chain.”

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