Horsemeat burger factory in Ireland, Silvercrest Foods, announced it would suspend production until further investigations into the case after new tests from the Irish Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of horse DNA in its frozen burgers.
Europe’s leading privately owned food processors, ABP Food Group, said that the contamination had come from one supplier, but since horse DNA has been found in the products tested this week as well, suspending the production at its Silvercrest Foods in the county of Monaghan is the responsible course of action.
ABP Food Group had already recalled 10 million burgers thought to contain horsemeat from all the supermarkets and soon they will be destroyed. In order to ensure the food quality in future, ABP Food has said that it plans to introduce DNA testing in its production lines.
Citing the results of new tests, Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said seven samples of raw ingredients had been tested, of which one sourced from another European country had tested positive. He confirmed that all ingredients in burgers sourced from Irish suppliers had tested negative for horse DNA.
Official statement from the Irish Department of Agriculture says, “Thirteen samples of finished burgers were tested for the presence of equine DNA. Nine have tested positive for traces of equine DNA and another four have tested negative. The minister and the FSAI have repeated their clear statement that there is no concern from a food safety perspective.”
After the horsemeat discovery in beef burgers, supermarket giant Tesco immediately removed the products from sale and also apologised to customers via newspaper ads. Other stores including Iceland, Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes store have also discontinued the sale of beef products until further notice.
Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op have also removed some frozen products from sale in which is being touted as a “purely precautionary” move. It must be noted that Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op were not found to be selling contaminated food.