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Source of contaminated beef burgers identified, says ABP

The company said it believed it had “established the source of the contaminated material to one of these two suppliers” following yesterday evening’s Department of Agriculture results,

Image: SStiling via Shutterstock

A SINGLE SOURCE has been identified as responsible for providing meat for beef burgers that contained horse and pig DNA, according to ABP Food Group.

To date, ABP Food Group investigations have centred around two third party Continental suppliers. 
The company said that, following receipt of yesterday evening’s Department of Agriculture results, it believed it had “established the source of the contaminated material to one of these two suppliers”.

Yesterday, the Department of Agriculture said that preliminary laboratory results indicated that nine out of 13 finished burgers produced at the Silvercrest plant between 3 14 January contained horse DNA.

Seven samples of raw ingredients were also tested – just one produced positive results and came from another EU state. All burger ingredients sourced from Irish suppliers were negative.

ABP said that, as horse DNA had been found in certain finished products tested this week, the company had decided “the responsible course of action is to temporarily suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect”. This week’s production ha,s therefore, not been released from the plant.

Silvercrest Foods in Monaghan and Dalepak Hambleton in the UK, along with Liffey Meats in Cavan, are owned by the ABP Food Group.

ABP said that while it was temporarily closing down the entire plant for purposes of “expediency”, it wanted to reiterate that all BurgerKing products produced by ABP were stored separately and manufactured on an independent line. “There is no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any BurgerKing products,” it said in a statement.

The statement continued:

We anticipate that the facility will be closed for several days to complete the sanitation process. During this time, all staff will continue to be paid, and we will be working with the relevant authorities, management and supervisory team to complete our investigation. 

We will continue to communicate with our customers and suppliers over the coming days.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme today, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said his Department was taking the issue “very seriously” – and vowed a thorough investigation with transparent results.

Read: “Oh Hell No!” Irish horse burgers: How the world reacted
Read: Company behind the horse burgers scandal apologises

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