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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Polish meat suppliers to blame for horsemeat crisis, says Simon Coveney

Fiach Kelly

Published 26/01/2013 | 18:08

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Horse meat found in beef products...Agriculture and Food Minister Simon Coveney speaks to the media at University College Dublin, as suppliers in continental Europe are suspected of being the source of horse meat found in beef products. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 16, 2013. Scientific tests found traces of horse DNA in burgers on sale in some of the UK and Ireland's leading supermarkets. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) found low levels of horse in beef products sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores. Burger products which tested positive for horse DNA were produced by Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and one UK plant, Dalepak Hambleton. Mr Coveney said the source of the food alert appeared to be companies in the Netherlands and Spain. See PA story CONSUMER Horse. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire ...A

POLISH meat suppliers are to blame for the horse meat found in burgers, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has said.

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Mr Coveney released the results of tests carried out by his department this evening and said Polish ingredients used by burger manufacturer Silvercrest contained 4.1pc horse DNA.

Mr Coveney said he assumed the Polish ingredients had been ordered to keep costs down.

He said no Irish or UK ingredients were to blame, adding the integrity of Irish food had been maintained.

The Silvercrest factory in Monaghan will now be cleared out of existing stock, some management will lose their jobs and they will only use Irish or UK products from now on.

Mr Coveney also said his department will have a permanent base in the factory, but said nobody in the company knowingly imported horse meat.

How the horse meat made its way into the product is a matter for Polish suppliers, he said.



Burger King, which switched suppliers when news of the horse meat scandal first broke, said it would be seeking further reassurance that products for their beef patties were sourced in the UK or Ireland.

A spokesman said: "Despite these findings, we take this matter very seriously.

"We remain committed to identifying suppliers that can produce 100% pure Irish and British beef products for us that meet our high quality standards."

Tesco also welcomed the results.

In a statement, a spokesman for the company said: "The findings announced by the minister correlate with the results of our own investigations at the plant.

"We will give detailed consideration to all the findings during next week."

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