Dublin: Contaminated Irish Pigs Recall Crisis and a Reporter's Jewish Boyfriend

It's free association day at the Independent.ie, where an unnamed journalist ruminates about the contaminated Irish pigs recall crisis and her Jewish boyfriend's sense of humor.
Pigs crisis is a good time to rethink production process

I once had a reasonably serious Jewish boyfriend, and in a woefully unproductive bid to prompt him to propose I would suggest converting to Judaism. "After all, most of what is in Christianity was first in Judaism," I'd reason.

"Ah," he'd tease, "but you'd never do without your rashers, would you?" Or sausages. Or black pudding. Or salami. Or ham sandwich. Or tender belly of pork with the crackling so crispy and sweet. Or bacon and cabbage. Or, indeed, anything from the flesh of the pig, which I consider to be the most toothsome of all meats. But for the pig, I could almost go vegetarian, for I wouldn't care if I never saw another rubbery chicken or indigestible steak. But the rasher! Oh, the rasher!

Jewish orthodoxy -- and Islam, too -- forbade pork, which in desert conditions was known to be vulnerable to disease and contamination. You would think, though, that in modern conditions of refrigeration and health and safety regulation, that pigmeat could be ensured to be pure. But now here's the catastrophe for pig farmers of a total recall of all Irish pork products, exporting all over the world.

Britain alone buys 68,000 tons of Irish pork a year, and in British supermarkets, Irish products are often very visibly labelled "Irish", with the understanding that they are safe -- since Ireland was so successful in keeping free from Foot and Mouth Disease and BSE.

In one sense, the very public recall of Irish pork products is a measure of health and safety regulations working effectively. Far better to take this action when the dioxin polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is detected -- however small the risk -- than run the risk of a worse outcome...more

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