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[08 JUN 99] STRATFORD ON AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Belgian Food Products

Food traders in south Warwickshire are being contacted by environmental health officers as part of the national campaign on the withdrawal of certain Belgian food products contaminated with dioxins.

However, it is unlikely that any foods already in the home will be a cause for concern, as consumption of any contaminated products should not cause harmful effects due to the relatively short period of exposure. Adverse effects in humans usually occur only after prolonged exposure to high levels of dioxins.

Stratford District Council has been asked by the Department of Health to reinforce the action over the trade withdrawal of certain Belgian products, by getting in touch with smaller businesses in the district which may not have been contacted by any national trade organisation.

The European Commission has agreed two emergency decisions which place restrictions on poultry including turkey, eggs, pork and beef products, milk and milk products from Belgium.

"Investigations are continuing throughout the European Community, and the Department of Health is keeping us updated as and when they have any further information," says Robert Weeks, principal environmental health officer at Stratford District Council.

"If any trader wants more details please contact me on 01789 260832 and I will try to help."

Food businesses in the UK are advised to:

i. investigate whether any poultry, poultry products (e.g. pate), egg or egg products used by their food business originated from Belgium between 1 January 1999 to 1 June 1999;

ii. obtain confirmation from their suppliers that the products did not originate from any of the affected farms in Belgium;

iii. destroy any products that are confirmed as originating from any of these farms.

Consumers are advised that the consumption of the contaminated poultry, eggs and related products could not be expected to cause harmful effects, due to the relatively short period of exposure.

Adverse effects in humans usually occur only after prolonged exposure to high levels of dioxins. For this reason, it is unlikely that any foods already in the home will be a cause for concern.

MORE INFORMATION:
Mark Lepkowski, Press Officer  01789 260104
Rob Weeks, principal environmental health officer 01789 260810
   

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CWN / Politics / Stratford on Avon District Council / 8 Jun 99

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