More questions to be answered
There was relief in the Irish food sector this week as the source of horsemeat contamination in burgers produced at the Silvercrest plant in Ballybay, Co Monaghan, appeared to be finally nailed down.
The announcement that the source of material was a Polish supplier to the ABP-owned facility appeared to signal the closing phase in the most serious food crisis to hit the Irish industry since the pig dioxin scare in 2008.
There was also a positive reaction to ABP's decision to source only Irish or British beef for all burgers produced by Silvercrest in future.
In the aftermath of the announcement, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the findings of the investigation, which showed that all Irish ingredients had been free of horse meat, had confirmed that the integrity of Irish food production was maintained.
However, there are still a number of questions that remain unanswered. With this in mind, the ICSA issued a very interesting statement yesterday listing a number of issues that remained to be explained in the wake of the controversy. The questions included:
nWhy was Polish meat going into Irish beef burgers, even though Ireland is the largest exporter of beef in the Northern Hemisphere?
nWhy is the Department of Agriculture now putting a full-time presence into Silvercrest – is this an admission that there hasn't been enough scrutiny of processing units?