An “administrative error in the lairaige-intake process” led to the mislabelling of sheepmeat from the UK as being Irish in origin, according to the the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The incident occurred in a factory in July this year, the DAFM has confirmed. However, the name and location of the factory have not been released.

The factory in question was instructed to conduct an internal review on the matter to determine the cause of the error.

In response to a query from Agriland relating to the incident – revealed under a freedom-of-information (FoI) request by Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy – the DAFM stated that a compliance notice was issued to a factory on foot of an inspection in July.

That inspection found a “failure to state the true country of origin on a consignment of sheep imported from the UK”.

This consignment was processed in the factory on the inspection date, according to the DAFM.

Once the mislabelling error was discovered, the plant was instructed to re-label any impacted carcasses and conduct an internal review to “investigate and prevent reoaccurrence”.

The DAFM told Agriland in a statement:

“In response to the compliance notice, the plant confirmed that the impacted carcasses were re-labelled correctly on the date of the issue of the compliance notice and the internal review was completed the following day.

“The plant confirmed that the mislabelling occurred due to administrative error in the lairaige-intake process.

“The plant confirmed in their response that they have undergone a process redesign at intake to mitigate a recurrence of the error which led to the mislabelling.”