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Meat row deepens as ABP’s supplier disputes horse claim

By Mike Stones , 07-Feb-2013
Last updated the 08-Feb-2013 at 08:39 GMT

McAdam Foods – the Irish meat supplier blamed by ABP for supplying beef products contaminated with horse DNA to its subsidiary Silvercrest Foods – has disputed the claims and named its Polish suppliers and a second Hull-based firm Flexi Foods.

A spokesman for McAdam told FoodManufacture.co.uk that ABP’s claims contained errors.

“McAdam Foods has had no awareness or knowledge, whatsoever, of any possibility of there being equine content in meat products imported and supplied by McAdam to any other company,” said the firm in a statement.

The company complied with all required food industry standards and regulations, it added.

ABP Food Group said: “Silvercrest purchased Polish beef products from McAdams Food Service. It appears now that, while Silvercrest purchased these beef products in good faith, horse DNA originating in Poland was present in some of these products.”

About 170t of beef products were bought from McAdam Foods compared with total purchases last year of 18,000t, said ABP.

But McAdam Foods said ABP “totally overstated the volumes traded”. McAdam said it delivered only 60t of imported frozen Polish pork to Silvercrest – which would account for 0.003% of the total beef bought by ABP last year.

Horse DNA

Also, McAdam understood that the Silvercrest used supplied products within three days of arrival. But the last McAdam delivery was received by Silvercrest on November 13 2012, while horse DNA was identified at ABP in January.

It added in a statement: “McAdam Foods also confirms that ABP Silvercrest would have been entirely aware of the origin of product supplied, as this information was provided to ABP including the identification of the Polish meat processors by plant number. The Polish suppliers have been identified to the Irish authorities by McAdam Foods as Foodservice Poland, and Mipol Poland.”

The Irish company confirmed on Tuesday February 5 that Polish meat products were bought and imported on the basis of their being “ordered, documented, labelled and understood to be beef, and nothing else”.

Fully exonerate

McAdam said it was confident the  documentation and proof given to the Irish authorities will fully exonerate the company.

This also applied to the Polish consignment delivered in early January to its customer Rangeland Foods.

Regarding the discovery of frozen beef contaminated with horse DNA at Freeza Meats’s cold store in Northern Ireland, McAdam said the product of Polish origin was stored at the plant last year on “a goodwill basis”. It had been supplied to McAdam from Poland by a UK meat trading company, it said.

McAdam Foods named a second Polish firm, Mipol, as supplying its beef products in addition to Flexi Foods.

Food Service Poland told FoodManufacture.co.uk it did not supply equine meat and that its plants complied with European standards. Read more about Food Service's denial here .

No one from Flexi Foods or Mipol Poland was available for comment when contacted by FoodManufacture.co.uk.

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