DAMNING: Horse meat has been discovered in burgers sold by supermarket giants including Tesco and Iceland
ALL PRODUCTION has been halted at the Irish factory discovered to have produced beef burgers containing horse meat, which were later sold in supermarket Tesco.
According to Sky News Silvercrest Foods County Monaghan announced it has ceased operations pending further investigations into how its products were "contaminated" with the meat.
In a statement it reportedly said: "Because equine DNA has been found in finished products tested this week, we have decided that the responsible course of action is to suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect."
Investigators previously said that in Tesco's Everyday Value burgers, horse meat accounted for almost one third of the meat content. It has been reported that in one sample horse meat accounted for around 29 percent.
Tesco group technical director Tim Smith said earlier this week: “We immediately withdrew from sale all products from the supplier in question.
“We are working with the authorities in Ireland and the UK, and with the supplier concerned, to urgently understand how this has happened and how to ensure it does not happen again.”
The products which tested positive were supplied by Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and on UK plant, Dalepak Hambleton in Yorkshire. All the burgers found with horse meat were sold in Ireland and there were also traces of pig, according to reports.
Tests on beef sold in Lidl, Aldi and Iceland uncovered horse and pork DNA.
The Republic of Ireland's food safety authority (FSAI) claimed meat with "horse DNA" sold in UK and Irish supermarkets had originated from two processing plants in Ireland – Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods – and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in north Yorkshire.
The Food Standards Agency, working with the Irish authorities, established that mainland Britain was part of the area affected. A spokesman said: "At this stage it is not believed to be a food safety risk.
"We are aware that investigations are ongoing to ascertain how or why horsemeat was used in the products."
Silvercrest's parent company, ABP Food Group, reportedly claimed it will introduce "DNA testing" in its production lines. The group also said that investigators have been sent to the production plants of all its ingredient suppliers.