Meat firm closed in Tipperary
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he was 'seriously concerned' at the latest development.
Operations have been suspended at B&F Meats in Co Tipperary amid claims labelling in Czech on exported horse meat translated to indicate beef.
The Department of Agriculture Special Investigations Unit (SIU) entered the small scale beef and horse meat deboning plant in Carrick-On-Suir this afternoon to carry out investigations.
Horse meat from the plant was being sent via a UK based trader to a single customer in the Czech Republic with labelling which when translated from Czech referred to beef, the Department said.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said “I am seriously concerned about this development and the Gardai have been fully appraised of this development and are working closely with my Department. The issue here is one of mislabelling and that will be the focus of the investigation”.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the horse meat scandal led by SIU continues in conjunction with the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
This involves forensic examination of electronic data and records associated with consignments of beef products. It also involves detailed inspections of certain food business operators including traders, transporters, processers and exporters.
The SIU is also liaising with counterparts in other Member States and Europol in relation to this pan European investigation.
As part of the EU-wide coordinated control plan, 50 additional food samples will be checked for horse DNA during March in Ireland. These include products marketed or labelled as containing beef as a major ingredient such as minced meat, meat products and meat preparations.
Minister Coveney has agreed this EU-wide programme to investigate food fraud in order to restore consumer confidence and to establish the extent of the problem across the EU. The results of the testing will be made public, according to the Department, who have announced a raft of further measures to tackle the scandal.