Preliminary test results on Silvercrest meat 'encouraging'25/01/2013 - 14:14:16
Preliminary test results on burgers manufactured at the Silvercrest facility in Co Monaghan have shown no evidence of horse DNA in raw materials sourced in Ireland.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said that that while the results are encouraging, "no conclusions should be drawn before all results are received and assessed".
The results have now been passed on to Silvercrest, which is carrying out its own investigation and has ceased production.
The Department of Agriculture revealed that it has taken more than 130 samples of burgers and ingredients in the past week from the Silvercrest facility.
Twenty-four preliminary results were received late last night from a laboratory in Germany and these have been sent to an Irish lab for confirmation.
The Department said it will not release these results until 100% verified.
Minister Coveney described the investigation as “complex”.
“I am not prepared to draw any conclusion until I’m fully satisfied that such conclusions are supported by facts,” he said.
“In any food incident, the emphasis is always on dealing with the matter thoroughly, promptly and as transparently as possible to ensure that consumer confidence in the integrity of Irish food production is maintained.”
Mr Coveney repeated that results to date indicate no presence of equine DNA in raw materials sourced in Ireland.
The Silvercrest facility is capable of making 20,000 tonnes of burgers a year.
Vet staff from the Department have been in the plant trying to identify lists of ingredients used in the batches tested.
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