The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today, Jan. 15, published a food safety report after examining many beef burger, beef meal and salami products found in retail outlets in Ireland. The report finds horse DNA as well as pig DNA in some beef burger products.
The contaminated beef burger products that tested positive for horse DNA were produced by two processing plants (Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods) in Ireland and another (Dalepak Hambleton) in the UK. Some of their products were sold in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland.
Listing of test results and foods affected.
Twenty-seven beef burger products were tested and analyzed. The results were outstanding, finding thirty-seven percent testing positive for horse DNA and twenty-three percent containing pig DNA. Roughly nineteen salami products were tested and those results were negative for horse DNA. There were traces found in some imported raw ingredients that came from the Netherlands and Spain. More testing consisted of thirty-one beef meal products including beef curry pie, lasagna and cottage pies where two-thirds were positive for pig DNA without any traces of horse DNA.
Yahoo News: Ireland and UK adds that the FSAI is working with the Fisheries and the Marine, the Department of Agriculture, the processing plants as well as the retailers to get this situation resolved. Authorities in the UK and Ireland all agree that this is an urgent matter. The food safety and quality is their utmost concern and want to inform consumers they shouldn’t be worried since there is no risk to public health.
Even though there isn’t any apparent risk to the public this is still very upsetting. Not knowing exactly what you are purchasing is a public issue and concern. It is especially important for certain individuals and those who abstain from any pork products due to religious customs. The fact that horse DNA was processed in plants where horse meat is not customary or authorized has consumers alarmed.
Silvercrest Foods has withdrawn all of their products that were for sale. The FSAI advises that consumers who have made purchases from any of the products in question should return them directly to the retailer.
Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI stated in his report that: “Whilst, there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horsemeat in their production process. In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger. Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable. We are working with the meat processing plants and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine to find out how horse DNA could have found its way into these products.”
Some additional information can be found in the questions and answers section developed for consumers by the FSAI already being focused upon. For more information consumers can call 1890 33 66 77 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. for advice from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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