FSA investigates NI supplier over horsemeat contamination

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that frozen meat held by a meat supplier in Northern Ireland has tested positive for horse DNA.

The agency said that the meat was “potentially linked” to the contamination at ABP-subsidiary Silvercrest, which remains closed in the wake of the horsemeat burger scandal.

Two out of 12 samples of beef taken from a consignment of frozen meat stored in a cold store at Freeza Meats were found to contain around 80% horsemeat. The FSA said that an investigation “into the traceability of these raw materials and their source” was under way. It confirmed that the meat had not entered the food chain.

In a statement released yesterday, ABP said: “In response to queries, the ABP Food Group wishes to make clear that Freeza Meats, the company named in yesterday’s Food Standards Agency statement, is not part of ABP Newry or any part of the ABP Food Group.”

Silvercrest was closed by ABP after tests from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) revealed that burgers produced at the plant contained horsemeat. The processor has since been dropped by customers including Tesco, the Co-Operative, Asda, Aldi Ireland and Burger King. Investigations into contamination at ABP’s UK burger plant, Dalepak, continue.

Meanwhile, former McDonald’s supplier Rangeland Foods has suspended production after finding horsemeat in a consignment of meat from a Polish supplier. Testing on the raw material revealed that it contained 75% horse DNA.

The company, which is based in Co Monaghan, Ireland, said that the consignment was received early last month and did not go into production. It added that it had reported the contamination to Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and temporarily stopped production pending a full investigation.