Horsemeat in Irish burgers may have European source

Wed, 16/01/2013 - 14:27 -- Editor

Silvercrest Foods, one of the Irish burger manufacturers named as having horse DNA in its beef burgers, is investigating its European suppliers as the possible source of the horsemeat.

Silvercrest Foods was named alongside Liffey Meats and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire as the sources of 10 burger products that showed traces of horsemeat, out of 27 tested by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. In addition, 23 of those 27 products also showed traces of pork meat.

The burgers were on sale in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland. One burger sold under the Tesco ‘Every Day Value’ range was shown to contain 29% horse meat.

"Silvercrest has never purchased or traded in equine product and has launched a full-scale investigation into two continental European third party suppliers who are the suspected source of the product in question."

Some 31 beef meals, such as cottage pie, beef curry pie and lasagne, were also tested - with 21 found to be positive for pig DNA, although all tested negative for horsemeat.

The FSAI also found traces of horse DNA in raw ingredients sourced to the Netherlands and Spain.

The FSAI has stated that while the products posed no danger to the public, consumers in Ireland and the UK do not have a culture of eating horsemeat and therefore would not expect to find it in their burgers.

The retailers are now removing the products concerned from the shelves.