In this file:


·         ABP closes burger plant over horsemeat fears

·         Farming minister calls for calm on horsemeat burger scandal



ABP closes burger plant over horsemeat fears


By Ed Bedington - MeatInfo (UK)

18 January, 2013


Meat processor ABP has announced the suspension of production at its Irish burger plant following the results of further positive tests for horse DNA in its products.


The test results, taken on Tuesday, 15 January, from product already withdrawn from sale by Silvercrest Foods, were announced by the Irish Minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney.


In a statement, the Minister said that 13 samples of finished burgers were tested with nine testing positive for traces of horse DNA.


The Minister and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are carrying out further tests in Germany to confirm the exact quantities of equine matter in the product.


Meanwhile the ABP Food Group has confirmed it is temporarily suspending production at Silvercrest Foods while investigations are being carried out.


In a statement, the company said its investigations were centred around two third party suppliers on the Continent and said they had established the source of the contaminated material to one of the two suppliers.


It added: “Whilst, we are temporarily closing down the entire plant for purposes of expediency, we would like to reiterate that all Burger King products produced by us are stored separately and manufactured on an independent line. There is no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any Burger King products...





Farming minister calls for calm on horsemeat burger scandal


By Ed Bedington - MeatInfo (UK)

18 January, 2013


Farming minister David Heath has defended the broader meat and food retail industry during exchanges in the Commons yesterday.


While agreeing that the discovery of horse DNA in burgers could well lead to criminal prosecutions, he called for a calmer approach to the scandal, which has engulfed the meat processing and supermarket sectors.


Heath said: “Because something has been discovered in Ireland, which is serious and may lead to criminal proceedings, does not undermine the very serious efforts taken by retailers, processors and producers in this country to ensure traceability and the standards of foods that are available to consumers.”


Investigations are continuing into the discovery by the Food Standards Authority of Ireland that a number of burger products contained both equine and porcine DNA. In one case involving a burger in Tesco, supplied by a division of the ABP Group, 29% of horsemeat material was discovered.


The UK’s Food Standards Agency has been defending accusations that it had failed to pick up on the matter, arguing that it had focused its surveys onto issues that would effect human health, such as campylobacter. A spokesman said there was no evidence that the inclusion of equine DNA in the burgers posed any risk to human health and said the agency was only able to act on the discovery of such evidence...