The Irish apparently poisoned their pigs—accidentally feeding them food contaminated with dioxin, a toxic by-product of combustion that causes cancer. This is not just bad news for pigs, this is bad news for the ham and sausage consumers in 21 countries, not including the U.S.—so far.
Ireland has urged consumers worldwide to dump pork products from their country that have been purchased since September 1. Of course, most of those pork products—bacon, sausage, ham, etc.—have probably already been consumed.
Eating one or two tainted sausages won't be enough to kill you, or tip the balance in favor of cancer most likely, but the pig feed, when tested, did contain as much as 200 times the acceptable safety limit for dioxin levels. More than 100,000 pigs will be killed—and not eaten—as a result of the contamination, according to Irish authorities. And the scandal may spread to Irish beef as well; investigations are ongoing.
The finding prompted recalls of an estimated $161 million worth of Irish pork products throughout Ireland, Europe and Asia. Some might argue that sausage itself is a toxic by-product that causes cancer and other health problems, but that's another story. Salted, spiced, repackaged offal, what's not to love? I know I do.