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Horse burger trail leads to Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 06.02.2013 11:13
Ireland's ABP’S Silvercrest plant purchased Polish meat products containing horse DNA from another Irish producer, MacAdam Foods, it emerged on Tuesday.
photo - sxc.huphoto - sxc.hu

photo - sxc.hu

“It appears now that while Silvercrest purchased these beef products in good faith, horse DNA originating in Poland was present in some of these products. ABP Food Group continues to co-operate fully with the competent authorities in the investigation,” says a statement by ABP.

Polish veterinary authority representatives have been invited to Ireland by the Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney as part of the investigation into where the horse meat came from.

"All implicated raw material ingredients are labelled as Polish product,” the minister said.

An inspection in Poland of five slaughterhouses have yet to detect horse meat DNA in products.

A sixth slaughterhouse is currently being examined.

There have been no reports of horse DNA being found in products in Polish stores.

"McAdam Foods states and confirms that any such products were bought and imported on the basis of their being ordered, documented, labelled and understood to be beef, and nothing else,” Martin McAdam of McAdam Foods says.

On 15 January, horse meat was found in frozen beef burgers at several Irish and British supermarkets, included Tesco, Asda, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland.

Of 27 beef products examined, 37 percent tested positive for horse DNA.

Mindful that the reports that horse DNA was contaminating Polish products, Andrzej Gantner, CEO of the Polish Food Industry Federation, has said that Poland's record on food safety is good and the number of alerts to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), which monitors food issues within the European Union, is below other major food producers.

“In the past two years, Poland has had 211 reports of irregularities to the RASFF, whereas Germany has had 309 and France 349,” he told Gazeta Wyborcza daily. (pg)

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