Product from Polish plant to blame for horsemeat contaminationin in Ireland

The source of the horsemeat contamination of Irish hamburgers was finally pinpointed, with raw ingredients from Poland identified as the culprit. Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has ordered close scrutiny of the Silvercrest plant, where equine DNA was found in burgers, for six months.


There were three more positive tests found in readings of 7 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent in three individual burger samples taken this month. All thee burgers contained products sourced from a company in Poland which has been supplying raw materials to Silvercrest in the past year. Irish Department of Agriculture then carried out further tests on the actual raw material, which showed significant levels of equine DNA – 4.1 per cent. Late last night, the results of further tests came through. All were positive for equine DNA – with even higher results than the 4.1 per cent, the greatest being over 20 per cent.

The same Polish food component was responsible for the 29.5 per cent reading of equine DNA contained in one Tesco burger tested last December. Minister Coveney has demanded swingeing changes in the way the meat plant is run. The company has agreed to source all products from Ireland and the UK only, to change the management at Silvercrest and to remove all products from the plant immediately, either to be destroyed or put in cold storage.