New 'horse-in-beef' tests negative21/01/2013 - 22:22:26
A second round of tests at a food processing firm embroiled in controversy over horse DNA in beef products have come back negative.
The Department of Agriculture confirmed no traces of horse meat at the Liffey Meats factory in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.
Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister, welcomed the results.
“This is very positive news as it supports the claims of the company that they have addressed any concerns that arose from the findings of the FSAI survey in December which found very low trace levels of equine DNA in three of the Liffey Meats burger samples,” he said.
Liffey Meats was one of two Irish food processing plants linked to the horse DNA controversy. Samples from a range of beef burgers produced between January 10-16 were tested.
The other was Silvercrest in Co Monaghan, owned by the Larry Goodman ABP Food Group, operator of the Dalepak facility in Yorkshire, England which was also found to have supplied supermarket products with traces of equine DNA.
More than 10 million burgers have been taken off shop shelves across Ireland and the UK. They were to be destroyed.
The Department of Agriculture said intensive investigations are continuing to uncover the source of the horse DNA at Silvercrest.
Experts said last week they believed the equine contamination may have come from ingredients supplied by companies in the Netherlands or Spain.
“This work includes further quantitative laboratory analysis of a range of samples (both burgers and raw ingredients),” the department said.
“In addition, detailed analysis of records held by the company relating to the sourcing of ingredients and the incorporation of these ingredients in the manufactured burgers that have tested positive for equine DNA is being conducted.”
Results are expected later this week.
According to food safety and government officials, there was no health issue with traces of horse meat or DNA being found in meat products from the processing plants and being sold in supermarkets Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.
Liffey Meats declined to comment on the second set of tests.
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