Positive DNA tests on beef in Kildare cold store, Coveney
Northern Ireland confirmed today that burgers containing horse had been supplied to hospitals across the region from Monaghan-based Rangeland Foods.
The company is continuing to withdraw 9,200 burgers after tests found some samples contained between 5 and 30 per cent horse meat. The company said it was likely some of the burgers had already been eaten.
The North's health minister Edwin Poots said today that a range of products were withdrawn from hospitals once the problem had been discovered. Mr Poots said the North's Business Services Organisation, which provides meat for the health trusts, was unlikely to source produce from the Monaghan supplier again.
"I don't think we will be going back to Rangeland unless they can clearly demonstrate that they have full and proper access to the chain that has delivered meat to them and they can ensure that there is no possibility of other products entering (the chain)."
In a separate development, Irish catering company Compass admitted tests confirmed the presence of horse DNA in burgers it supplied to a number of businesses in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.
The company said laboratory tests on a sample of burgers produced by Compass identified a small amount of horse DNA. In response, the company has withdrawn all of these burger products. It said the contaminated meat had also been sourced from Rangeland Foods.
In the UK the Food Standards Agency tonight announced it had carried out three more raids in relation to the horse meat scandal, two in London and one in Hull.
One of the plants raided in north London, Dinos and Sons Continental Foods, this evening confirmed it was “co-operating with local trading standards officers and the FSA”.
The company said it had been asked to clarify its position in relatino to the " transportation and storage of frozen beef that was imported by, and belonged to, a third party that the FSA is investigating". It did not keep the frozen beef in the same premises as its own products, it said.
“At no time has Dinos and Sons produced or manufactured anything that is under investigation or is the subject of any possible contamination or mislabelling," it said.
UK authorities confirmed today that cottage pie testing positive for horse meat were delivered to schools in Lancashire. The county council said it has withdrawn the pre-prepared beef product from 47 school kitchens.
Lancashire county councillor Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, said: "We share the concerns people have about what is clearly a major problem in food supplies across the UK and Europe.
Britain's food regulator said today it had found 29 positive tests for horse meat after demanding samples from UK retailers linked to the contamination scandal.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it had conducted 2,501 tests, 2,472 of which had come back negative for horsemeat levels above 1 per cent, with 29 results testing positive for horse meat levels above 1 per cent. It said all products that tested positive had already been announced and appropriate steps taken.
The FSA said it had asked the industry to test for horse down to a level of 1 per cent as some laboratories can only test accurately to that level, and that it believed any level above that was not going to be accidental.