Forty-five per cent of rashers in breakfast rolls bought and testedfrom deli counters and service stations are not Irish, the IFA’s Irish food service DNA-verified survey for 2022 has found.

Almost 40% of pork products in the food service industry were found to be derived from non-Irish pigs.

The food service sector includes fast-food restaurants, hotels, service stations, deli counters and butchers.

The survey included a breakdown of pork products being offered by food service outlets. Premium cuts of pork tested the best at 85% Irish, ham came in next at 65%, while typical breakfast products such as rashers and bacon tested at only 55% Irish.

In total, 582 pork samples were tested in 2022 and the survey found that over one-quarter of the samples tested were found to be non-Irish pigmeat.

Retail samples

A total of 181 retail samples were tested, with 97% of those samples coming back as Irish pigmeat.

There were 401 food service samples tested, from 34 individual outlets. The IFA estimated that these companies have a combined reach of 2,600 locations nationwide.

IFA pig chair Roy Gallie said DNA doesn’t lie and that some testing results “identified cases where businesses advertise product as Irish, but when tested, this is proven to be false and this is hugely disappointing”.

“It’s great to be able to hold various outlets to account when they either say it is Irish or isn’t Irish.” IFA president Tim Cullinan said its the testing programme is about “bringing honesty” to the system.