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Sunday 21 September 2014

Horse found in beef at another Irish company

Aideen Sheehan and Fiach Kelly

Published 16/02/2013 | 04:00

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Simon Coveney

MEAT at another Irish company has been found to contain horse meat, the Department of Agriculture revealed last night.

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QK Cold Stores in Naas, Co Kildare, is the latest company to be caught up in the crisis after frozen beef trimmings imported from Poland tested positive for horse DNA.

The company has told the department that none of the consignments which tested positive were released on to the market.

The meat had either been returned to the Polish companies concerned or were under detention at the cold store.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said his department's special investigative unit had also forwarded information to Europol on the supply chains to Silvercrest and Rangeland where horse meat was previously discovered.

"We have made significant steps forward this week in our investigations nationally but also in securing a significant response at European level," he said.

"Ireland continues to be to the forefront of both highlighting and solving this fraudulent mislabelling of meat and we will continue to do so," he said.

However Mr Coveney made no comment on the spread of the horse-meat scandal to the company headed by his brother Patrick.

Shares in Greencore tumbled by a fifth after revelations that a fresh meat sauce it supplied to UK supermarket chain Asda contained horse DNA.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said there was no conflict of interest between Simon Coveney spearheading efforts to tackle the scandal – as part of his role in Ireland's EU presidency – and his brother heading Greencore.

Denial

"This is a pan-European problem now and needs to be dealt with swiftly, effectively and comprehensively and the Minister in all his actions has been acting with that objective in mind," he said.

Meanwhile ABP Ireland denied that it was the source of the horse DNA in the Greencore beef bolognese.

In a statement to customers ABP said that it had carried out a traceability exercise on the consignment of beef sent to Greencore that was used in the batch.

"This involved identifying all the beef animals used in the production back to the farm. ABP Nenagh is satisfied that they are not the source of the positive equine result," it said.

ABP said it had carried out hundreds of tests at plants including Nenagh since the horse meat scandal broke on January 15 and all had proven negative for horse.

Greencore said the meat used in the sauce was sourced from ABP Nenagh but declined to comment further last night.

Simon Coveney confirmed last night that a new DNA testing protocol for meat from retailers, caterers and processors had been agreed between the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and his department.

Five items had already tested positive, but all had been previously identified.

Northern Ireland's Health Minister Edwin Poots confirmed yesterday that burgers from Rangeland Foods in Monaghan containing horse meat had been supplied to hospitals across the region.

Irish Independent

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