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Simon Coveney says rotting meat claims are wrong and have been 'hyped up'

A Polish report detailed ‘green and rotting meat’ in a Monaghan food plant but the meat in question had been removed from storage for testing according to the Minister.

AGRICULTURE MINISTER SIMON Coveney has said that the claims about  green and rotting meat at an Irish food plant are completely false and have been ‘hyped up’.

Coveney told the Today with Seán O’Rourke programme on RTÉ that the meat singled out by Polish instigators in their report had been “taken out of the extreme cold” to be tested and it is therefore not surprising that it was discoloured.

“That meat had been taken out of the food chain entirely,” he explained. “That meat had been taken out and it we had been drilling into it for testing, so its not surprising that it looked bad,” he said.

The minister says that the meat in question was actually labelled as Polish product and that is why veterinary inspectors from Poland were invited to examine it.

Extracts from the report of Polish inspectors were published by The Guardian this week with the owners of the Silvercrest factory in Ballybay, the ABP food group, later releasing a statement rejecting the report.

Coveney has said the Government backs the ABP’s contention that the meat was only removed from storage to be tested and could never have entered the food chain.

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“We have made clear that story and no one has come back to contradict it,” he said.

The minster also said that, far from hurting the Irish beef industry, Ireland’s early detection of the horsemeat scandal last year has seen exports grow by 11 per cent.

Read: Polish investigators find ‘green and rotting meat’ in Monaghan food plant >

Read: 21 people arrested in French horsemeat probe >

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Rónán Duffy

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