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Not a sausage to be seen as fridges are left empty

It was a sad day for ham and bacon lovers everywhere yesterday, as thousands of pork products were binned across the country.

Those desperate for a bacon and egg sandwich would have traversed the Dublin's delicatessens and supermarkets in vain.

"I'm so sorry, we have no ham here, haven't you been listening to the news?" said one apologetic deli worker in a Spar corner shop.

Deli counters and refrigerator shelves were bare and forlorn looking, and some of the more organised shops even had notices pasted up, apologising for the inconvenience but stressing that they took food safety very seriously.

Rashers, sausages, black pudding, white pudding -- all were conspicuously absent, with some shoppers complaining that they'd never felt more desperate for a good Irish breakfast in their lives.

Esther Dunne from Dublin was shopping in SuperValu and said she woke up this morning to find her husband frantically emptying their fridge of all their sausages.

"I really missed my fry this morning. It's a little bit scary, but I think you can't let it affect you too much. Sure, a while ago it was the eggs that were dangerous, and the beef, so when the pork comes back, I'll probably keep buying it."

Regina Dunne, also shopping in Supervalu, eats only organic meats as a rule, and is not very surprised at the news.

"It's bound to happen when you have intensive farming like that. I stay away from all processed meats because I think they can be dangerous."

Dubliner John Maguire, shopping in Tesco, said that the contamination was a disgrace. "What are they feeding these animals? There were regulations brought in 20 years ago, but I don't think they're being followed. I love my pork chops, but I'd be very dubious about what's in Irish pork these days."

Padraig Kelly from Dublin wasn't too disturbed by the pork recall.

"It only affects meat bought between certain dates. If you were to let this turn you off pork, sure you wouldn't eat anything, would you?"

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