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Food contamination summit after pork-in-halal food supplier named

Major retailers and suppliers will meet the Food Standards Agency (FSA) today to work out how to prevent food becoming contaminated and entering the supply chain.

The FSA ordered the meeting last week following a spate of mis-labelled or contaminated food products reaching the public.

Yesterday a company which supplied halal food found to contain traces of pork DNA was named.

Food distributor 3663 identified McColgan Quality Foods Limited, a Northern Ireland-based company, 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In a statement, 3663 confirmed that all halal products from this manufacturer have been withdrawn from supply.

3663 has not been suspended, but a "sub-contractor" has been suspended, the UK Ministry of Justice said. Islamic law forbids the consumption of pork.

Last month horse meat was found in burgers sold by a number of major supermarkets.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee chairman Anne McIntosh has raised concerns that the recent cases could be just the tip of the iceberg, and has questioned whether the FSA is fit for purpose.

The FSA is investigating how far contaminated products have been distributed.

Steve Wearne, a director at the FSA, said it called the meeting "of a range of suppliers" today to "stress again the responsibility of all food businesses to ensure the food that they sell contains what it says on the label".

An FSA spokeswoman said: "People have a right to expect that the food they are eating is correctly described.

"It is the responsibility of food businesses to ensure the food they sell contains what it says on the label. We are considering, with relevant local authorities, whether legal action is appropriate following the investigation."

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