Beef trimmings test positive for horse DNA


NAAS:The Department of Agriculture investigation into the presence of horse meat in beef products focused on a cold store in Naas this week, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said last night.

He said QK Cold Stores had informed the department that consignments of frozen beef trimmings imported from Poland were tested by it and some showed positive for horse DNA.

These consignments were either returned to the Polish companies concerned or were under detention by the department at the cold store.

Mr Coveney said the company had confirmed that none of the consignments that tested positive were released on to the market.

Mr Coveney also said the Food Safety Authority and his department had met with the meat-processing sector on Thursday to agree a national protocol for DNA testing of meat to be applied at retail, catering and processing level.

“We intend to introduce DNA testing from now on as part of routine food testing across the country,” he said. The industry had already been involved in testing over 200 samples and results were negative for equine DNA.

A further five products tested positive but they had already been removed from the market because they were identified as problematic.

Mr Coveney said a more comprehensive testing regime for horse meat was being drawn up to provide full reassurance that no illegal slaughtering was taking place.

“We have made significant steps forward this week in our investigations,” he said.