Ireland's food safety watchdog has ordered supermarkets to remove Irish pork products from shelves and consumers have been told to avoid Irish pig meat after the discovery of contamination from cancer-causing dioxins.

The discovery followed routine tests performed last week at ten pig farms - which account for about 10% of Ireland's pork production - in the southeast of the country. Results of the tests were received on Saturday (6 December), officials revealed.

Dublin said tests of feed and pork fat samples confirmed the presence of dioxins at 80 to 200 times the safe limits set by the World Health Organisation.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the source of contamination has been identified as animal feed producer Millstream Recycle. According to Irish reports, the company has indicated that it is "cooperating" with the Department's investigation. However, the feed manufacturer was not immediately available for comment.

The Department said that another nine farms in Northern Ireland had also used the contaminated feedstuff.

The UK's Food Standards Agency yesterday advised UK consumers "not to eat pork, or pork products, such as sausages, bacon, salami and ham which are labelled as being from the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland".

Irish pig farms produce about 3m pigs each year, half of which are exported to the UK and other EU markets.