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As horse meat scandal widens, Supermac's says its burgers are 100% Irish

Supermacs has officially commented on the issue, after it emerged that Rangeland Foods supplies it with beef.

AN OIREACHTAS AGRICULTURE Committee will meet today on the horse DNA scandal today – just a day after it emerged that new traces of horse DNA was found at two plants.

They will meet at 2pm for a public meeting chaired by Deputy Andrew Doyle, at which Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney will speak to them on the latest developments on the horse burger scandal.

This is the first time the Agriculture committee will discuss the issue, and comes the day after it was revealed that a Monaghan meat company has suspended production after horse DNA was found in a consignment of beef imported from Poland.

It emerged last night that Rangeland Foods in Castleblaney did not use the Polish ingredient in any products, but it has temporarily halted production so that a full investigation can be carried out.

Minister Coveney has asked for Garda help in the investigation, while the Department of Agriculture is in contact with Polish authorities as part the ongoing investigation into the discovery of horse meet in products labelled as Irish beef.

Supermac’s

Last night, Supermac’s responded to the latest discovery, saying that it welcomes the rigorous testing of Irish beef.

It said:

All beef in Supermac’s burgers is 100% Irish, fully traceable back to the farm and DNA tested to prove that it is 100 per cent Irish beef. The product in question is an imported product and bears no relevance to Supermac’s meat products which are 100 per cent Irish.
We have been assured by our supplier that the beef that has been and is used in Supermac’s burgers is 100 per cent Irish.

The company said that after the issue first broke, it immediately sought assurances from its supplier and was guaranteed that its beef was and is 100 per cent Irish beef.

Written tests to verify this were also provided by our supplier. We have already tested the product ourselves and have been reassured that it is 100 per cent Irish beef and we will continue to conduct rigorous independent testing.

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, horse meat has also been found in beef trimmings in Northern Ireland. Gerry McCurdy of the Food Safety Authority of Northern Ireland (FSA) spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning about horse meat found in frozen meat (beef trimmings) kept in a cold store in Newry.

Previously, there had been issues around what was put down to mislabelling of beef trimmings at a plant. However, following the discovery of horse DNA in Irish beef in January, that triggered samples being taken from a consignment at the Freeza Meats company, which came back positive for about 80 per cent horse meat.

The FSA consulted with the FSAI and there were “certain connections” made with regards to the source of the meat back to Poland, said McCurdy.

He said that a number of traders who traded the commodities (beef trimmings) were starting to “appear at a common line”, drawing further connections between the discoveries north and south of the border.

McCurdy said labels on the meat in the cold store were considered to be genuine labels, but some were fraudulent, while there was lack of clarity around ownership of the consignment. The FSA will be working with the FSAI to determine what sort of links there are between the incidents.

Read: Oireachtas committee may question ABP Food Group on horse meat >

Read: Monaghan meat company finds horse DNA in Polish beef>

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