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Ireland Finds Seven Products Contaminated with Horse Meat

07 March 2013

IRELAND - The Food Safety Authority of Ireland's (FSAI) first set of results of industry tests on beef products, beef ingredients and other ingredients for the presence of horse meat found the vast majority to be negative.

The tests were carried out by the food industry in light of the current horse meat scandal throughout Europe and have been reported back to the FSAI.

A total of 957 tests were carried out by industry, 928 samples were found to be negative and 29 samples representing seven products were found to be positive for the presence of horse meat.

All the positive results have been published previously and products have been withdrawn from the market.

The testing was carried out on beef meat ingredients and final beef products. These were taken from a range of suppliers, caterers, processors, manufacturers and retailers.

In addition to the industry survey, the European Commission has asked each Member State to put official control plans in place for sampling and testing for the presence of horse DNA in foods marketed and labelled as containing beef.

In Ireland, 50 samples of beef products will be taken by the inspectorate between 1st and 31st March for the survey.

The European Commission has also requested that one sample for every 50 tonnes of horsemeat to be tested for the presence of phenylbutazone and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will coordinate these tests. All the results of the analysis will be reported to the European Commission by 15th April, as requested.

The priority for testing is on products in which beef meat is a significant ingredient.

The types of food products being sampled include beef burgers, beef meal products, minced beef and prepared products in which beef is an ingredient.

The European Commission has indicated that gelatine and products such as stock cubes and dripping will not be included at this stage.

It considers that testing for animal species in these processed products is difficult, the testing process required is not widely available and the meat content in these products is low.

The FSAI said it will provide further updates, as appropriate.

Further Reading

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