THE horsemeat scandal is a "spectacular own goal for Ireland Inc" as well as a financial disaster for Silvercrest, UCD professor of public health Pat Wall said yesterday.
"It's such a major body blow to this company but also a body blow to the Irish agrifood sector," he said on RTE radio.
Supermarkets would now drive the move to much tighter standards with DNA testing becoming the norm, he said.
Tesco technical director Tim Smith said that Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney had told him the problem could have been going on since last May. The scandal was also discussed at a meeting of the UK parliament's environment committee yesterday.
The head of the UK Food Standards Agency, Catherine Brown, said the contaminated meat was filler product from Poland, a mixture of beef and horse offcuts, and it could have been in burgers for a year.