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Pork Recall – What you should know?

I could go on about my conspiracy theory regarding this whole pork recall issue (you’re not worried about the bank bailouts or the recession now, are you?), but lets for the moment stick to the facts.

  • From a regulatory perspective, I think this editorial piece from the Irish Independent was pretty much on the money. We have 4 watchdog bodies involved in this – yet it still took a week for the matter to come to a head, and we couldn’t even do the testing necessary in Ireland.
  • From a value for money perspective issue, why did the “from farm to fork” food tracing process not allow the supermarkets and suppliers isolate the 10% at risk product and allow the other 90% to remain on the shelves. Does this mean that the expense of implenting this tracing regime is all for nought now?
  • From a consumer perspective, you are entitled to refunds if you can prove purchase. As the pork purchased isn’t “fit for purpose”, you’re entitled to “repair, replace or refund”. Any of the three resolutions are perfectly legitimate on the part of the shop where you bought your pork. Generally, proof of purchase (a receipt) isn’t always necessary, but this is probably considered a special scenario. If you have own-branded items its easy for them to identify that you bought the product in a certain store. If it’s a branded item, to be fair to the stores, you should have proof or purchase. If you have your receipts, you should have no problems.
  • So, though we’re told it’s safe to throw your pork products in the normal rubbish – you shouldn’t. Try first and get your money back. If that’s unsuccessful, then throw it out.
  • Here are two useful Frequently Asked Questions pieces in The Irish Times and The Irish Independent that will help you further.
  • Finally, for the ultimate source of information on what’s going on, go to the Food Safety Authority website. If you’re calling from a mobile, don’t call their 1890 33 66 77 number. Save yourself a few quid (since you’re likely to be on hold for a while) and call their 01 817 1300 number instead.

5 comments On Pork Recall – What you should know?

  • So, do you keep all your supermarket receipts? Do you know anyone who does? I don’t, and I don’t know anyone who does.

  • By all accounts on Joe Duffy on RTE1, Tesco are only giving refunds on their own brand pork items, not on everything – even with receipts.

  • Lets not forget that the IFA are now looking for the taxpayer to compensate the farmers who poisoned those same taxpayers. What a great country we live in. Not even an apology just an assumption that they are entitled to compo. In most countries the feed producer and the 10 farmers would have had their assets seized pending a criminal investigation and possible law suites from the industry workers made unemployed and the consumers whose health will have been impacted.

    I’m going to knock down a pedestrian on my way to work and then sue him for damage to my car and emotional stress.

  • @Dermot – Thanks for your comment, and as it happens, I can actually put my hands on my last 3 supermarket shopping receipts – from my last 3 “big shops”. That would be for November, October, and oh, yes, September.

    Why? For 3 reasons!

    1. I don’t trust my bank, so any time I use my credit card, or in these cases, my Laser card, I keep both the laser receipt and the shopping receipt for any spend that goes on the card. Given everything that the banks have been found to have done in the past when ripping off consumers, it’s in my own interest to keep these dockets in case something unexpected happens.

    2. I don’t trust the supermarkets or shops that I shop in. No reason in particular, but mistakes happen, so I want to cover myself to make sure that I can prove my own case if someone takes more money from my account than they should have. As an aside, I also gather my points on my loyalty cards, so I want to make sure I have a record of points earned to make sure they add up to the money back vouchers I receive. If I don’t get the points I expect, I have the proof of what I should be getting.

    3. When I do my “big shop” it can approach €200-€300 at a time. As a rule, any time I spend that much money with anyone on anything at all paying by cash, Laser or credit, I’ll keep the receipts.

    And that’s apart from the general consumer advice that we should always keep our receipts when we’re out shopping.

    That’s 4 reasons – and the pork recall shows a 5th reason why we should be keeping all our receipts. It’s in our own self interest to do so, and doesn’t take a whole lot to have a shoe box left on top of a wardrobe somewhere to keep these receipts in.

  • @colm_healy: I hadn’t heard that, but maybe that’s the reason why the National Consumer Agency came out again yesterday and today to emphasise that consumers were entitled to refunds.
    They actually declared that refunds should be paid, and not just vouchers for replacements which I thought might be a valid alternative – though, I suppose, if we don’t know when pork is going back on the shelves, we might have to wait for a while to use vouchers.

    @Colm – I personally wouldn’t have been so hard on the farmers. You’d have to think that the reason for the problems lies with the feed producer – and whomever is responsible for monitoring their operations (though through the papers today the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are saying neither of them are responsible for monitoring the company concerned).
    Another case of useless regulation!

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