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Horse meat DNA linked to Polish supplier

By Lorraine Mullaney , 28-Jan-2013

The Irish government has declared a “major breakthrough” in the investigation into the horse meat DNA found in value burgers as “conclusive test results” link the source to an ingredient from a Polish supplier.

Silvercrest's value burgers were sold in Tesco

Silvercrest's value burgers were sold in Tesco

In a statement posted online this weekend (January 26) Ireland’s minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney said: “Tests of the Polish ingredient concerned have been released and are showing up to 20% horse DNA content relative to beef. This confirms previous results that the raw material from Poland is the source of equine DNA content in certain beef burgers.”

ABP Foods imported the ingredient and used it in the production of burgers at its Silvercrest facility in County Monaghan, Ireland. The burgers were exported to Tesco, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl.

Interruption in business

The ABP Food Group welcomed the news, which confirmed its initial view that the contamination originated from a third-party continental supplier.

Paul Finnerty, group chief executive, ABP Food Group, said: “This has been a very difficult experience for all involved and has led to a significant interruption in business for Silvercrest and its customers. We are relieved that the source of the problem has been identified.

“While the company has never knowingly purchased or traded in equine product, I wish to take this opportunity to apologise for the impact this issue has caused.”

When asked to name Polish firm involved in the scandal, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, which carried out the tests, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “As the investigation is ongoing, we are not in a position to name the Polish company.”

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