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From: TSS (
Subject: Claims of BSE risk in Drogheda food plant ''using the same hose to transfer both the edible material and the SRM material''
Date: November 16, 2004 at 6:15 am PST

Claims of BSE risk in Drogheda food plant
Fri, Nov 12 04

By Jimmy Cunningham

BSE-RISK material may have unsuspectingly entered the national food chain through the pipes of a Drogheda company, the High Court heard yesterday.

The fears emerged during a High Court battle between Irish Edible Oils, Marsh Road, Drogheda and the Department of Agriculture, Welco Food and Monery Byproducts.

Irish Edible Oils is claiming its business was ruined after it unsuspectingly stored Specific Risk Material tallow (melted-down animal fat) for the Department of Agriculture, Monery Byproducts and Welco Food between May 1997 and February 1998 and is seeking E9m in damages.

Specified risk material (SRM) comprises of organs and parts of animals that, on scientific grounds, hold an actual or potential risk of harbouring BSE.

A worker at Irish Edible Oils told the court how the company unsuspectingly used a shared hose pipe to transfer tallow derived from SRM and edible tallow into vats stored on its premises.

Edible grade one tallow which passed through this hose later entered the food chain as cooking fat.

An employee of the company John Everitt told how the tallow derived from SRM splashed onto a fellow worker, bubbled over the side of the vat and was regularly pumped through the same hose that was used to transport edible products to the vats.

Mr Everitt claimed he never wore protective clothing and was never told by the Department veterinary inspectors about the nature of the product.

He said on one occasion a hose containing the SRM tallow burst and sprayed over a fellow work colleague.

He described he product as being so smelly you could smell it 100 yards away.

Mr Everitt said the only procedure he used to clean the pipe between transfers was to flush it through with hot and cold water.

When questioned by the trial judge Mr Peter Gilligan as to whether the hose had ever been used in the refining business, Mr Everitt replied yes.

Mr Everitt said the only time he knew about the existence of SRM was when he received dockets from the meat factory with SRM written on them.

When again questioned by Mr Gilligan, Mr Everitt said as far as he was concerned the veterinary inspectors knew he was using the same hose to transfer both the edible material and the SRM material.

The case, which began last month, continues.


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