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Final Update on Authenticity of Meat Products Investigation

Monday, 28 January 2013

On Saturday 26th January, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD confirmed that results received overnight were positive for equine DNA in meat imported from Poland as raw material for the production of burgers at Silvercrest.

In a statement issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, it stated that, while earlier results had shown trace levels of equine DNA in imported raw materials, the latest results showed significant levels of equine DNA (4.1%) in raw material that was used in the manufacture of burgers which the Department found on Friday 25th January to contain significant amounts of equine DNA. 

The investigation has therefore established a direct correlation between burgers in which a high level of equine DNA was detected and this raw material product. The Minister said he was confident that this finding leads to a firm conclusion that the raw material in question was the source of equine DNA introduced into burgers manufactured at Silvercrest.  Over 140 samples of primary products and ingredients had been tested for equine DNA.  Three burgers and one imported ingredient tested positive for significant levels of equine DNA.

The FSAI welcomes these conclusive results, which are in line with the results found by the FSAI during its survey into some beef burger products on sale in retail shops in Ireland.  The FSAI has notified the Polish authorities and the matter is now with them.

The FSAI states that full compliance with food law is required across the entire supply chain at all times and that food business operators must remain vigilant in ensuring the authenticity of ingredients used. The FSAI will continue its routine monitoring and surveillance programmes to monitor foods on the Irish market to ensure that they are complying with the requirements of food law and that they are safe.


Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine press statements issued on 26th January:
Major breakthrough on identifying the source of equine DNA - Irish ingredients tested clear
Coveney announces further conclusive test results