Ireland: Horsemeat found in burgers

2013-01-16 10:32

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - The Irish food safety watchdog said on Tuesday that it had discovered traces of horse and pig DNA in burger products sold by some of the country's biggest supermarkets, including a burger sold by global retailer Tesco that authorities said was made of roughly 30% horse.

Ireland's Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney blamed a lone meat processor in County Monaghan, on the border with Northern Ireland, for the horsemeat find, which he called "totally unacceptable".

Coveney told state broadcaster RTE that an imported additive used to make the burger appears to have been packed with horsemeat.

The additive was "either falsely labelled, or somebody made a mistake, or somebody was behaving recklessly. That allowed some horsemeat product to come into the system that shouldn't have been here", he said, adding that veterinarians had been dispatched to the meat processor and other factories to conduct more tests.

"A mistake has been made here, it has been flagged by our systems as it should have been, and we will take the appropriate action to ensure it doesn't happen again," Coveney said.

Damage control

UK-based Tesco PLC apologised for its horsemeat-heavy burger and said it was pulling Tesco-brand burgers from stores in Britain and Ireland as a precaution.

The find is unwelcome news for the world's fourth-largest food retailer, known in the United States under its Fresh & Easy brand.

"The presence of illegal meat in our products is extremely serious," the company said in a statement. "Our customers have the right to expect that food they buy is produced to the highest standards. ... We understand that many of our customers will be concerned by this news, and we apologise sincerely for any distress."

But the bad news wasn't just for Tesco.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland also said on Tuesday that it had found traces of pig DNA in 85% of the burger products it tested in Irish supermarkets, including those operated by British frozen food specialist Iceland, German discounters Lidl and Aldi, and supermarket giant Spar. Local Irish chains also carried beef with horse or pig DNA. Many, like the Oakhurst Beef Burgers carried by Aldi, carried both pig and horse DNA.

But most of the traces were miniscule. For example, the authority said it found 0.1% horse DNA content in Iceland's own-brand quarter-pounder patties.

Concerned

The watchdog says the unusual animal DNA in Ireland's burgers isn't a threat to anyone's health but does "raise some concerns".

"In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger," said Alan Reilly, the authority's chief executive.

"Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable."

Meat exports are big business in Ireland, and opposition politician Eamon O Cuiv, warned that the news "could have a damaging effect on the Irish agriculture sector if not dealt with quickly and comprehensively".

- AP

Read more on:    ireland  |  horsemeat scandal  |  animals  |  meat scandal
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.