Full list of horse meat tests published
Birds Eye Beef Lasagne and Spaghetti Bolognese were among seven products which test positive for the presence of horse meat. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA
A total of 29 samples, representing seven beef products, have so far tested positive for horse meat in Ireland, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed.
The food watchdog today published the first full list of tests carried out by the industry on beef products and beef ingredients since the scandal came to light in January.
A total of 957 tests were carried out by industry, 928 samples were found to be negative and 29 samples representing seven products were found to be positive for the presence of horse meat.
The products which tested positive were; Rangeland burgers (up to 30 per cent); Findus Beef Lasagne (60+ per cent); Birds Eye Beef Lasagne and Spaghetti Bolognese (up to 10 per cent); Tesco Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese (up to 60 per cent); Aldi - Today’s Special Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Beef Bolognese (30 -60 per cent) and Ikea’s beef meatballs (amount to be confirmed).
The positive results have previously been published and the products in question withdrawn from the market.
The FSAI said the testing was carried out on beef meat ingredients and final beef products, and were taken from a range of suppliers, caterers, processors, manufacturers and retailers.
In addition to the industry survey, the European Commission directed each member state to put official control plans in place for sampling and testing for the presence of horse DNA in foods marketed and labelled as containing beef.
As part of this, the FSAI will this month conduct a series of tests on foods marketed and labelled as containing beef as part of an EU-wide inspection of products.
In Ireland, 50 samples of beef products will be taken by the inspectorate for the survey.
The European Commission has also requested that at least one sample for every 50 tonnes of horse meat be tested for the for the presence of phenylbutazone, commonly used by vets as a painkilling anti-inflammatory for horses, but which can be harmful to human health in high doses.
The latter tests will be co-ordinated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. All the results of the tests will be reported to the European Commission by April 15th.
“The priority for testing is on products in which beef meat is a significant ingredient,” the FSAI said.
“The types of food products being sampled include beef burgers, beef meal products, minced beef and prepared products in which beef is an ingredient.”
Test on gelatine and products such as stock cubes and dripping will not be included at this stage, the FSAI said.
Separately, Irish convenience food company Greencore said today new tests on their beef product, which originally tested positive for horse meat, have shown no traces of equine DNA.
Greencore was drawn into the horse meat scandal last month when Asda said it discovered horse DNA in a beef bolognese sauce, which was linked to ABP’s meat plant in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
However, Greencore said today ABP’s own investigation, which included a testing programme for all raw materials used in the batch in question, tested negative for equine DNA.
ABP Ireland said it was “very disappointed” to be associated with this incident, “but is pleased that the matter has now been brought to a conclusion”.
In Britain, Leicestershire County Council said today horse meat had been found in minced beef served in school dinners in Leicestershire. The council said tests showed the beef contained less than 1 per cent trace of horse DNA and that the product had been permanently removed from school menus.
The council, which supplies 224 schools across the county, insisted there is no health risk to pupils.