THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said today that he doesn’t believe that the horse meat burger problems are elsewhere in the Irish food industry.
Alan Reilly made the comment while speaking on RTÉ’s radio show Morning Ireland this morning. Yesterday it emerged that Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney had asked the Gardaí to become involved after it emerged that horse DNA was found in imported beef at a Monaghan plant. It has also been discovered in beef trimmings at a Newry plant.
“Somebody someplace is drip-feeding horse meat into the burger manufacturing industry”, said Reilly, adding that the FSAI does not know why this is happening. He said that all of the document checks show the meat concerned comes from Poland – and that Polish authorities have not yet officially responded to the Irish authorities on the outcome of their investigation.
He also said that they are looking at a “small sector” with regard to the horse DNA, and not the entire Irish food industry. “We don’t believe these problems are elsewhere in the industry,” he said.
Reilly said that they have results of horse DNA being found in some meat products from April of last year. The issue of meat traders is being examined during the investigation, and although a specific meat trader has not been named, Reilly said that the meat that was found in Freeza Meats in Newry that was labelled as Polish origin was supplied by the same meat trader who supplied into Silvercrest and Rangeland.
That meat trader is based in the State, said Reilly.
Later today, the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee will meet on the issue, and will be addressed on the horse meat scandal by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.