The Food Standards Authority has reassured consumers that Irish beef is safe to eat after the dioxin food scare.

The Republic of Ireland announced on Thursday (19 December) that all beef from cattle that had eaten feed contaminated with dioxins was being withdrawn.

Less than 1% of the Republic’s national herd was affected by the scare and most meat had been held, the FSA said.

The meat that had reached consumers was unlikely to pose any health risk.

The farms that were affected by the contaminated feed will remain under restriction until results from dioxin tests are released next week, the FSA added.

Thousands of food items containing Irish pork were withdrawn from supermarket shelves earlier this month after dioxin levels up to 200 times the legal limit were found in pig feed on 47 farms in the Irish Republic.

The discovery prompted calls for tighter food labelling restrictions, after it was suggested some products containing Irish pigmeat may still be on sale.

Current laws mean meat from pigs reared in Ireland and processed in the UK could be labelled British.