Horse News

Horse Meat Supplier still Operating in the Netherlands with Authorities Refusing to Name and Shame the Dutch Company

By Keith Gladdis and Claire Ellicott of MailOnline

Of the 13 samples of burger analyzed, nine tested positive for horse DNA
Shocking: Tests carried out at Silvercrest in Ireland have confirmed that a powder imported from Holland caused the contamination

Shocking: Tests carried out at Silvercrest in Ireland have confirmed that a powder imported from Holland caused the contamination

The Dutch meat supplier believed to be responsible for contaminating British burgers with horse meat was still operating last night despite being under investigation.

New DNA tests on burgers made at the Silvercrest processing plant in Ireland have confirmed that an imported protein powder used as a filler to help bulk out the burgers caused the contamination.

It is understood that the supplier of the powder is based in the Netherlands, where authorities have confirmed an investigation is under way.

The same supplier provided the ingredient – usually made from the unwanted parts of a cattle carcass – to another affected company in Ireland called Liffey Meats and the Dalepak processing plant in North Yorkshire.

The Silvercrest factory which makes burgers for outlets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Burger King has temporarily ceased production after two thirds of burgers tested by officials were found to contain horse meat.

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But the Dutch authorities last night said the suspected supplier of the powdered protein filler was still in operation because there was no risk to public health.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Agency also refused to name the processor under investigation until a problem was proven or a product recall notice was issued.

A spokesman said: ‘The Irish food safety authority has been in touch and they will take part in an investigation into what happened. There are one or more companies that will be investigated.’

The Irish agriculture minister Simon Coveney yesterday said his department would soon be able to identify the supplier of the filler used in Tesco beefburgers which contained 29% horse meat.

He said: ‘We are close (to knowing the source). We have our suspicions but what’s required now is proof. When we have full facts then we will be able to draw conclusions and name names.’

Horse steaks used to be popular in the Netherlands but its consumption has grown out of fashion in the last 20 years.

However the country remains a major processor of horse meat imported from abroad, largely south America.

And horse meat has been used to bulk out more expensive meat in Dutch snack products in the past.
In 2007 checks on popular Dutch snacks such as bitterballen, meatballs made from a mix of beef and veal, found horsemeat in almost a third (32%) of those tested.

And in 2008 a Dutch consumer affairs programme found horse was still used by many producers of frikandellen, a deep fried hot dog.

Same supplier: Fast food giant Burger King UK was drawn into the row today as it uses the same supplier as supermarkets where burgers were found to contain horse meat

Same supplier: Fast food giant Burger King UK was drawn into the row today as it uses the same supplier as supermarkets where burgers were found to contain horse meat

Initially it was thought a supplier from Spain, where 12,900 tonnes of horse meat were produced last year, could have been another possible source of the outbreak.

But the body which represents beef producers in Spain said they have only supplied cuts of meat to ABP Foods, the company that owns both Silvercrest and Dalepak, and the not powdered beef protein filler blamed for the contamination.

Work was halted at the Silvercrest factory after tests on burgers produced between January 3 and 14.

Of the 13 samples of burger analysed, nine tested positive for horse DNA.

Mr Coveney said the horse meat was found only in very cheap burgers.

He said: ‘When you have a food industry that is driving down costs all the time well then suppliers will look to get the cheapest product.’

Mr Coveney also admitted he ‘did not know’ how long horse meat may have been used in the burgers.

British farming leaders yesterday demanded immediate action by UK supermarkets to improve their sourcing and labelling of food in the wake of the horse meat burger scandal.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) warned that consumer confidence in the UK food industry had been ‘severely undermined’.

NFU president Peter Kendall said the integrity of UK-produced meat was being compromised by the use of cheaper imports which did not meet the same stringent monitoring systems.

He said retailers must take immediate action to address the integrity of their suppliers and ensure that UK products are easily distinguishable and clearly labelled, so customers can make a conscious decision on the food they buy.

Tesco has apologised for selling burgers containing horse meat.

Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have also withdrawn burgers from sale after they were found to contain horse meat.

Sainsbury’s, Asda and the Co-op later withdrew some frozen products but stressed that the move was ‘purely precautionary’ and they had not been found to be selling contaminated food.

Ten million burgers have been taken off supermarket shelves across Ireland and the UK as a result of the scandal.

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13 replies »

  1. I believe that this is the continuation of the “food toxicity” crisis that will allow the anti-slaughter ban for US horses to move from the backroom “4 man stab in the back ” and languish in committee non-deals of the past couple of years to an important decision to be made this year. Cattleman may even switch sides as it appears that horsemeat is contaminating beef, and making Europeans very nervous. And the American horses are probably the most Toxic of all. This should certainly make Slaughterhouse Sue throw-up with worry.

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    • Not wanting to be negative but I already am on what is happening to our horses, especially our wild horses it will probably take the cattlemen being angry because they will also be losing money from people not wanting to eat beef.
      It won’t be the cattlemen caring about our horses being slaughtered by the thousands it will be the fact they are losing money on the scandal of horse in products labeled beef. But as far as I’m concerned if this is what it takes to wake up America and the world on the torture and abuse going on with horses being slaughtered then this is what it takes.
      I do not want another wild horse or any horse for that matter ever being horrifically taken out of the US and ending up on sometimes dinner plate again. Just plain disgusting.

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  2. It’s just another example we see time and time again of the underhandedness and double standards placed on the slaughter of horses, from the auction to, now, Burger King. While every other food animal is regulated for consumer safety (supposedly), horses somehow have been exempt from those same standards and this mixing of horse meat in beef was happening decades ago in the US which is why horses were then required to be slaughtered in separate facilities and retail horse meat was then required to be in a completely separate case from beef. There isn’t one single thing that is legitimate about slaughtering horses for meat. It’s more like a legal black market than anything else. I just don’t get why horses – who have done more for mankind than any other animal – continually get the shaft no matter where.

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  3. I went to the MailOnline and left a comment. This is a good chance to let some of these people know what is going on about horse meat and where some of it comes from. Because of horse meat from Canada/Mexico being considered cheap cuts of meat this is what is being slipped into all of the snacks being sold in the UK and other countries. The consumption of horse meat seems to be dropping in the EU so where is the large amount that Canada ships over there being used?
    You got it, in all of the snack food without the consumer knowing a thing about it.

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    • I think commenting where Europeans can read our reservations about the toxicity of our horse meat is the way to help our campaign. Right on, Advocates. Lets win this year, Barbara.

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  4. I have look at Global sites to beef This is interesting. Beef should be DNA’ d for various animals which could be made by several animal by product. People are what they eat and I do believe they can eat organic or read on a lable and it have DNA testing /labels as to the species. Personally I am going to eat only organic meat.

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  5. And the drama goes on. It seems like every country has creeps, greedy and corrupt people. I think its a shame that the meat is fed by class. Just think about all the poor children and others who consumed the meat thinking it was some thing else. When will the EU start enforcing their own laws? If they enforced their own regulations perhaps our horses would be safe. I hope they expose the whole mess and would like the names/companies if any of the meat came from the US. Maybe Congress will get off their butts and finally pass some crediable laws protecting our beautiful and magnificient horses. The UK and Ireland should file some kind of complaints if its found the horses originated in the US.

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  6. This has all been pretty amazing. It may backfire on them! Fine with me. It is obvious there is little
    actual inspection anywhere in the Western World. So now, let us get our wild ones and captives out from under the gun. They are a drop in the bucket so let it be the public’s bucket.

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