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Irish Beef Burger Investigation

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Irish Beef Burger Investigation

Irish Beef Burger Investigation
January 23
12:57 2013

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD (pictured) has welcomed laboratory test results that show that there is no presence of equine DNA in a range of beef burgers sampled by the Department from product manufactured by Liffey Meats in the period from 10th to 16th January 2013.

The results 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.

Investigations are continuing at an intensive level in relation to identifying the source of the equine DNA in the Silvercrest processing facility. This work includes further quantitative laboratory analysis of a range of samples (both burgers and raw ingredients). 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.

The Minister will announce further progress in relation to this investigation when conclusions have been arrived at in relation to the source of equine DNA. He reiterated what both he and the FSAI have already stated that there is no food safety risk from these findings. He also noted the Silvercrest decision to temporarily close down the entire plant and to work with the Department and FSAI to complete their investigation.

The full investigation currently underway by the Department follows from confirmation of the results of a FSAI snapshot survey to examine the authenticity of the ingredients declared in the labelling of some beef based products retailing in Ireland. The survey result showed that in one particular sample tested, there was evidence of the presence of equine DNA at a high level in frozen beef burgers. The FSAI has made clear that there is no food safety implication to this finding although it does raise concerns about the proper labelling and sourcing of food ingredients.

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