The Irish food safety scare that began with the discovery of dioxins in pork this weekend spread to beef today (10 December) after food safety authorities detected the presence of the chemical in Irish beef.

However, a spokesperson for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) told just-food, a blanket recall of beef products has not been ordered.

"All animals from herds found to be contaminated with levels of dioxins exceeding legal limits will be removed from the food chain and products made with animals from these herds will not be released onto the market," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the levels of dioxins detected in test samples were so low that FSAI considers there to be no threat to health.

Whereas the pork scare that triggered a mass recall of all Irish pork products affected 10% of Irish pigs. FSAI said that only 45 farms were supplied with potentially contaminated feed and cattle slaughtered from these farms representing 0.2% of total annual beef production in the Republic of Ireland.

Additionally, FSAI currently has results from 11 of the 45 farms: eight were clear and three were "just above" the proposed legislative limits for dioxins in beef. Tests are being carried out in the remaining farms, which remain under restriction until cleared.