Irish beef re-called in France due to E-Coli contamination

What is understood to be a small amount of Irish beef, in the form of frozen minced meat, has been recalled in France after it was found that the meat was contaminated with E-Coli.

It is understood that the E-Coli was found in three batches of beef burgers at French retailer Système U and that 30 stores stocking the products were affected.

The EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has classified the risk as “serious”. E-Coli bacteria can cause serious disorders such as gastroenteritis and fever if consumed.

In 2015, Bord Bia valued Irish beef exports at €2.4 billion, an increase of 6% on 2014 levels and France is a key export location for Ireland.

Approximately 52,000t of Irish beef went to France in 2014, but volumes were back in 2015.

Currently, the majority of Irish beef exports end up in the EU. The UK is our largest export market, which accounts for 50% (270,000t) of the volume trade and is worth in the region of €1 billion to the Irish economy. The majority of Irish beef product exported to the UK is for the foodservice sector (59%).

A further 238,000t is exported to the EU market, Department of Agriculture figures show, and approximately half the Irish beef imported to France goes into the high-end restaurants, the rest to the shelves of specialised shops or in prepared dishes.