Equine Rescue

Horsemeat in UK Burgers was Imported

Story by the Belfast Telegraph

“…they did not deliberately use horse meat in their production process”
Horse meat found in burgersHorsemeat found in burgers came from imported ingredients, the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has confirmed.The minister said results from tests showed that the DNA came from raw material brought into the Silvercrest Meat plant in Ballybay, Co Monaghan from another EU member state.

He also reaffirmed that tests on samples taken from Irish food ingredients were negative and said he was pleased the integrity of Irish food production had been maintained.

The intensive investigation launched by the department and the Food Standards Authority of Ireland (FSAI) sourced the equine DNA to Poland.

More than 140 samples of primary products and ingredients were tested. Three burgers and one imported ingredient tested positive for significant levels of horse meat.

The Minister said there had been engagement with senior figures from ABP Food Group which operates the Silvercrest plant. The findings of the official investigation show that they did not deliberately use horse meat in their production process.

Silvercrest is owned by the Larry Goodman ABP Food Group, operator of the Dalepak facility in Yorkshire, England which was also found to have supplied supermarket products with traces of equine DNA.

It was one of two Irish food processing plants linked to the horse DNA controversy. Samples from a range of beef burgers produced between January 10-16 were tested. More than 10 million burgers have been taken off shop shelves across Ireland and the UK.

According to food safety and government officials, there was no health issue with traces of horse meat or DNA being found in meat products from the processing plants and being sold in supermarkets Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.

It is understood a deep cleansing operation has begun at the premises in Co Monaghan which are now under new management. Paul Finnerty, group chief executive of ABP said: “While the company has never knowingly purchased or traded in equine product, I wish to take this opportunity to apologise for the impact this issue has caused.”

14 replies »

  1. yada yada yada … they sound like BLM … “this could NEVER happen” … but it did and it does.

    Question: Does the U.S. import any meat products? I assume some prepared meat such as pepperoni or salami etc does? What else? Can we assume that imported meat has the potential to have horse meat in it? I think I remember many many years ago there was a big promotional push in America of Australian hamburger (frozen patties?). I think the promotion went down the drain after the word (rumor?) got out that it contained “other” meat products [kangaroo?].


  2. As far I am concerned, there is no excuse in the Silvercrest company in them not knowing what was in the product. Excuses, Excuses. This company has incompetent individuals, and, as always, the bottom line (green back) is only important. There is no excuse for any company to be buying product with horse meat in it. Same on these companies for not throroughly checking their sources. Only when we, the consumer, demand companies to GUANANTEE that their product does not contain horse meat will we discover that the slaughter houses will go belly up. Hooray if this happens. And, it will be none too soon.


  3. This part of the consumer society it’s not chancing the meat issue. I don’t trust these meat inspectors or our own government to ensure that the food is safe. So it’s off meat in my diet. Hope this makes the point clear.


  4. “Blame it on the subcontractor (in Poland) whom we have no control over…”
    This is why cutting corners will always get you in trouble! You never know WHAT they will use for a substitute ingredient…


  5. Even with their so-called testing 10 million burgers made it to the consumer shelves. They state there was never any question of health. Oh ya? They didn’t know the horsemeat was in the burgers. Did they really test for the presence of drugs or would that have just tanked the meat market? My suspicion is they quit at testing for horse meat. Don’t we get meat from South America?


    • I just wonder if they thought they could be caught. Was this a trial run? No one knows exactly what goes on in these plants. I don’t trust the USDA inspectors, I think that there are only a handful that do their jobs correctly. How many times have we had recalls on the products on the market? Look at the push for all these factory farms..There is no way that these animals are treated humanely..let alone the damage to the environment surrounding these mega farms…Just terrible and disgusting.. And we trust these people to provide food for our familes?


    • Morgan, I do my grocery shopping at Dillons(aka Kroger) and though I don’t eat meat, my mother does. Months ago I was to pick her up a pound of hamburger. This chain of stores is complimented and frequently chosen by families over other local stores for their great meat selection. I never imagined I would find the words “Mexico/Canada” printed on the label with the price, weight and barcode. I had to dig around before I found a package that read U.S.A. It disgusted me. It made me wonder how many other grocery store chains also do this. And are they testing that meat in the same crappy fashion as horse meat? Now I am not gonna force my diet choices on my children but I am gonna be damn good and sure that I am not bringing home meat from foreign countries that slaughter out pets fully aware of their toxicity. Now I don’t know about South America, but Mexico and Canada(ONE of the two, it was not specified which is even scarier) meat is definately in the coolers of some grocery stores.


  6. Good reason to stay away from ordering meat when visiting abroad…you never know what the heck you’re eating! )-: By the way, how did they know there were no health issues, if they didn’t know horsemeat were in the burgers, in the first place?! Let this be a wake up call!


  7. A year or so ago I contacted customer service at one of the big grocery chains here in Washington state because i wanted to know if they knew if used up dairy cows were slaughtered and used for hamburger their stores sold. I really couldn’t get a clear answer from her, but she did say that the US has to import tons of beef from other countries because we can’t produce enough for the demand here in the US. She didn’t say which countries it comes from. I have good idea the only testing that’s done on most of it is for bacteria. All I can say is buy your meat from a store that advertizes the name of the ranches it comes from locally. It should be on the packaging and other advertising.


    • Barb,

      I do not doubt that the store manager told you this, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense or maybe it does if we think about it differently. We are told that 97% of the cattle on public lands produce beef that is exported overseas. People who live where i do often sell calves to middle men who buy them for western and midwestern markets where they will graze and then be sent to feedlots in the West. Yet, I also here from my friends who ride in the West that Canadian beef producers sell in the US because they can undercut US ranchers and farmers. According to them, ranchers complain because the Canadians do not have the strict requirements that the US does. Nonetheless, if you look at the huge amount of beef produced in this country compared to the small number of carcasses sampled, you can’t feel protected—particularly when so many farmes and ranchers are second income or hobby farmers who do not start out with a lot of knowledge about raising food animals.


  8. another reason not to eat hambergers. You and I don’t need to worry 50 years ago I loved hambergers. Gail and I went to Golden Gate Dog show in SF, first time I have been. wonderful….all except 2 dogs where happy to be, there. The two that where unhappy where two standard poodles, I think these two dogs where embarrassed , by their hair cuts .


  9. There are no excuses. This is total deception and false advertising. All the companies involved need to stand accountable for their actions.


  10. We can not allow this kind of deception and false advertising to go unpunished, otherwise the rule of law means nothing – and, frankly, it means less to the corporate world than it should as government looks the other way in favor of tax revenue – and this kind of deception will continue.


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