Poland source of illegal horsemeat

Poland has admitted being the source of beef contamination in the Czech Republic. Three tons of beef contaminated with horsemeat have now been seized by state inspectors from a processing plant in the Polish province of Silesia, after Czech inspectors identified horse meat in beef burgers that allegedly came from a Polish supplier.

© Kpalion (wikicommons)

“Poland is open to tests concerning food quality,” Minister of Agriculture Stanislaw Kalemba insisted in an interview with public television channel TVP1 on Wednesday. He argued that the international problem of mixing horsemeat with beef could be the result of “mafia dealings based on earning large amounts of money.” On Monday, Czech meat distributor Bidvest told thenews.pl that pre-fried beef burgers bought from Polish supplier FVZ Deli Meat contained horsemeat. Tests are currently being carried out on samples of meat taken from the Silesian processing plant.

Latvia’s food safety agency said that traces of horsemeat were found in products labeled as beef by a local meatpacker, Forevers. The agency said 416 horses were slaughtered last year in Latvia, out of which 203 were eventually delivered to Forevers from the same Latvia-based slaughterhouse, Aibi. All the horsemeat was labeled as beef in the invoices, the agency said. It wasn’t immediately clear if any of the meat was exported.

Also on Wednesday, Russias state sanitary watchdog said it had detected horsemeat in sausages imported from Austria. The agency’s spokesman, Alexei Alexeyenko, said in a statement carried by the ITAR-Tass news agency that the sausages were stated to only contain beef. In Hungary, György Pleva of the food safety authority informed the media the horsemeat was found in beef lasagna. In an interview with the major newspaper NĂ©pszava, Pleva said a ten kilogram shipment of frozen beef burgers presumably containing Polish horsemeat arrived in a restaurant near Lake Balaton last August, where it was consumed.

Furniture retailer, IKEA, known also for restaurants at its huge out-of-town stores, said on Wednesday it had withdrawn Familjen Dafgard’s IKEA-branded wiener sausages from stores in France, Spain, Britain, Ireland and Portugal, as well as stuffed cabbages and veal burgers in Sweden. Tests in the Czech Republic on Monday found that a batch of meatballs from Sweden’s Familjen Dafgard contained horse. “Based on some hundred test results that we have received so far, there are a few indications of horsemeat,” IKEA said in a statement. IKEA has now started to withdraw meatballs from their Polish stores and restaurants.