Monaghan beef plant resumes production


Rangeland Foods is resuming production at its plant in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, this morning after getting the go-ahead from the Department of Agriculture last night.

The plant, which supplies frozen beef burgers to fast-food restaurants and the catering industry, suspended production on Monday, following the interception of a Polish beef product that tested positive for horse DNA. It said the frozen beef product had not entered the food chain.

The beef was supplied by McAdam Foods, which in turn received it from a UK meat trader. The department's special investigation unit and gardaí are investigating the matter.

Products withdrawn

France, meanwhile, has become the latest country to be drawn into a food scandal with the news that frozen spaghetti and lasagne meals made by French food company Comigel have been withdrawn from the shelves of Tesco and Aldi because they did not conform to specification.

The company has not said why the products did not conform, but it is thought to be linked to tests carried out as a result of the controversy over horse meat in burgers.

Comigel supplies foods to Findus UK and alerted the company and Aldi that certain products did not conform to specification. It advised the removal of Findus beef lasagne and Aldi's Today's Special frozen beef lasagne and Today's Special frozen spaghetti bolognese .

A Tesco Ireland spokesman said Tesco had withdrawn its frozen Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese because it was produced at the same site as the Findus beef lasagne.

"There is no evidence that our product has been contaminated and the meat used in the Findus product is not used in our product. However, we have decided to withdraw the product pending the results of our own tests," he said.

An Aldi spokesman said: "Comigel has flagged concerns that the products do not conform to specification. They have been withdrawn immediately so that Aldi can conduct its own investigations into the factory concerned."

Ireland 'attacking' Poland

Warsaw veterinary inspectors have accused Ireland of "attacking" Poland by prematurely flagging Polish factories as the source of horse meat in Irish beef burgers.

Janusz Zwiazek, head of Poland's veterinary inspectorate, said Irish officials had prejudged the Polish meat industry without having all the facts and had blocked Polish efforts to secure further information.

DNA tests of Polish abattoirs flagged by Ireland had revealed nothing other than beef, he said.