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Food Safety Focus (54th Issue, January 2011) – Food Incident Highlight

Dioxins Contamination Incident in Germany

On 5 January 2011, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) immediately contacted the German and European authorities following reports that some German farms might have been contaminated with dioxins. The CFS learned that food exports from the affected farms and processing plants had been suspended. Based on the levels of dioxins detected by the German authorities, it is reassuring that even if the affected products are consumed over a relatively short period of time it does not have any immediate health concern.

As a precautionary measure, the CFS held the concerned food products from Germany for examination and testing. So far, results of 16 samples including eggs, poultry products, pork and pork sausages have been satisfactory. The CFS will continue to liaise with the relevant authorities and monitor the situation closely.

Dioxins are a group of persistent environmental pollutants which can naturally accumulate in animals particularly in fat via the food chain. Consumers may reduce dietary intake of dioxins by maintaining a balanced diet and reducing fat intake by trimming fat from meat and using cooking methods such as broiling and baking.