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Breakthrough in Identifying Source of Equine DNA in Irish Beef Burgers

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Breakthrough in Identifying Source of Equine DNA in Irish Beef Burgers

Breakthrough in Identifying Source of Equine DNA in Irish Beef Burgers
January 28
13:44 2013

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD has announced a major breakthrough in the joint investigation by his Department and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland into the source of equine DNA in beef burgers. The results were positive for equine DNA in meat imported from Poland as raw material for the production of burgers at Silvercrest, part of ABP Food Group.

While earlier results had shown trace levels of equine DNA in imported raw materials, the latest results showed significant levels of equine DNA, (4.1%) in raw material which was used in the manufacture of burgers which the Department has found to contain significant amounts of Equine DNA. The investigation has therefore established a direct correlation between burgers in which a high level of equine DNA was detected and this raw material product. The Minister is confident that this finding leads to a firm conclusion that the raw material in question was the source of equine DNA introduced into burgers manufactured at Silvercrest.

The Minister also reaffirms that tests on samples taken from Irish food ingredients were negative and he is pleased that the integrity of Irish food production was maintained.

The objective of the intensive investigation carried out by the Department and the FSAI was to identify the source of the equine DNA and to find the cause of the problem. Over 140 samples of primary products and ingredients have been tested for equine DNA. Three burgers and one imported ingredient tested positive for significant levels of equine DNA.

The current findings of the official investigation do not show any evidence that Silvercrest deliberately used horsemeat in the production process. The authorities in Poland have been informed of the findings of the investigation.

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