Confidence in Poland that suppliers there will be cleared
Authorities in Warsaw have taken issue with Irish certainty that horse meat found in Silvercrest burgers originated with Polish suppliers.
Poland’s veterinary inspectorate said yesterday it would need more time for tests into the Irish claims because additional “cross-checks” were taking place in Ireland after “initial tests were a little wrong”.
Irish officials disputed this claim yesterday, saying no cross-checks were taking place and they remained confident that Poland was the source of the problem.
“We got information from Ireland that they are doing extra tests after they got different results to the first ones,” said Jaroslaw Naza of the general veterinary inspectorate.
“I have to see those results from Ireland before we go on.”
Though Polish DNA tests of five suppliers and one cold storage firm are now not likely until early next week, Mr Naza expressed confidence yesterday that Poland would be cleared.
They supplied only beef product, he said, with the mixing of burger ingredients taking place in Ireland.
“It is possible that these products from Poland were clean,” he said. “But I cannot say 100 per cent because I need papers and results of tests.”
The Irish Department of Agriculture said it remained confident that the Polish product was the most likely source of horse meat.
It spent 10 days checking DNA samples and following a paper trail that led back to a Polish delivery of a frozen block of beef product. It consisted of low-end cuts, desinewed meat and trimmings.
Asked why Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney had not named the Polish supplier, a spokeswoman said he had passed on the information to his Polish counterparts and now it was up to them to name the company if they wished.
Polish investigators received documentation from Ireland reportedly showing that its trace had flagged products from Polish facilities.
“These slaughterhouses only processed beef and it’s important to know there are pre- and post-mortem veterinary inspections and the documents check out,” said Mr Naza.
“The cold storage that prepared the packages to send to Ireland didn’t buy horse meat either.”
As well as DNA tests at production facilities, Poland is checking every stage of the logistic chain.