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Oireachtas committee may question ABP Food Group on horse meat

The head of the committee, Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle, said that they will decide tomorrow on whether ABP will be questioned on the issue.

AN OIREACHTAS AGRICULTURE Committee may question ABP Food Group, the parent company of Silvercrest Foods, which is at the centre of the Tesco burgers horse meat scandal.

Speaking with RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning, the chairman of the committee, Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle, said the committee is to meet to discuss the issue tomorrow.

He said that there was a series of checks, validations and rechecks done before anything about the horse DNA found in the burgers was made public. Doyle said that the situation was complicated because there are a range of producers and production plants.

The sources had to be cross checked, and all of this took time. Doyle also noted that the batch of products that was contaminated with the horse DNA may well be completely gone from the production plant in Poland, so that when tests are carried out they come back negative.

Doyle said that Minister Coveney will talk them through the whole chain of events tomorrow. He also said that there is a role there for the FSAI and the EU’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers to further establish what it is in the system that went wrong to allow this product get into the food chain in the first place.

“This is an issue of clear and accurate labelling as opposed to a health threat,” he said. Doyle added that the Irish pig and poultry industries are already “at the pin of their collar”, so “the last thing they need was something like this to come out”.

Tesco has dropped Silvercrest as a supplier, saying “the breach of trust is simply too great”. The contract was believed to be worth around €15 million and is a significant financial blow to the company.

Read: Pork DNA found in Halal prison food>

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