Saturday 25 February 2017

New tests on burgers sent for 'double check'

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

NEW test results on contaminated burgers received by the Department of Agriculture have been sent to another laboratory for verification.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said today that 24 tests on burgers and ingredients had been received last night from a laboratory in Germany and had been sent to an Irish lab for "confirmatory quantitative analysis".

He did not disclose the results of the latest tests aimed at establishing where horsemeat found in Irish burgers had come from.

Mr Coveney said that the investigation was into a very large processing facility producing 20,000 tonnes of burgers a year.

"The investigation is being carried out in a systematic fashion and this requires the correlation of all the information necessary to draw credible conclusions," he said.

His veterinary staff on the ground were carrying out an extensive trawl of records at the plant to identify the list of ingredients used in every batch of burgers tested, as this could vary by batch.

"This further complicates the process of drawing conclusions on the role that any particular ingredient may have played in this incident," he said.

It was encouraging that the results so far did not indicate the presence of horse DNA in raw materials sourced in Ireland, but no final conclusions could be drawn before all results were assessed.

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