Irish meat factory suspends production

Silvercrest Foods, an Irish factory at the centre of the burger controversy has this evening announced it is to suspend production at its plant.

Preliminary laboratory results from samples of burgers taken at the plant by the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have shown the presence of horse meat.

Seven samples of raw ingredients were tested, one of which, sourced from another Member State, tested positive.

All ingredients in the production of burgers sourced from Irish suppliers tested negative for equine DNA.

Thirteen samples of finished burgers were tested for the presence of equine DNA with nine have testing positive for traces of horse meat while the remaining four tested negative.

A statement from ABP Food Group, who own Silvercrest Foods, say they believe they have established the source of the contaminated material and have decided to temporarily cease production at the factory.

The company added that this week's production has not been released from the plant.

The Department of Agriculture has said the samples will be sent to Germany for further tests to find out how much horse meet was present.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney says he welcomes the company's decision to suspend production.

Ten million burgers were removed from supermarket freezers in the UK and Ireland earlier this week.

A spokesperson with the St Vincent de Paul said that he believes the beef burgers that have been withdrawn due to the horse meat controversy could be properly labelled and resold, or offered to charities.

Speaking in a personal capacity, regional vice president of the SVP in Cork, Brendan Dempsey, said he believed many charities would be willing to take the withdrawn burgers.

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