ABP in Poland not on burger suspect list
All is quiet outside the mint-green ABP plant, sitting in the dirty snow of an industrial estate in Pniewy. Inside the facility, 30km outside the Polish city of Poznan, it is a hive of industry.
It is almost two years since ABP moved into Poland. The company expanded the plant and now employs 150 people, the second-largest employer in the town.
Since ABP took over in April 2011, operations have been overseen by Limerick man Jerome Aherne. Today the facility processes an average of 900 cattle a week into so-called primal product.
“We do not slaughter, debone, buy or trade equine products,” said Mr Aherne. “And we don’t trade anything we don’t process ourselves.”
He says the plant undergoes regular spot checks – from health authorities and customers – but none has taken place since the horse meat scandal broke.
While authorities in Warsaw declined to name Polish facilities under investigation, they confirmed to The Irish Times yesterday that this ABP plant – the only one in Poland – is not on the list.
The factory is a closed production facility of interlinked tiled, humid rooms. Cattle are delivered and slaughtered at one end, the carcasses are separated by abattoirs before passing along for processing in a long room filled with dozens of butchers at a double row of counters. Keeping an eye on everything are Polish vets.
Every carcass, at every processing stage, is labelled, meaning everything is traceable right back to the date and place of birth through ABP’s computer system.
Mr Aherne says the same quality standards apply here as in Ireland.