Horse meat and pig DNA found in supermarket beef burgers

Horse meat has been found in a number of beef burgers sold widely in our supermarkets.

The Food Safety Authority (FSA) also confirmed the presence of pig DNA in beef burgers.

The FSA analysed a total of 27 beef burger products and found horse DNA in 10 of them, and 23 of the products, or 85%, tested positive for pig DNA.

The beef burger products which tested positive for horse DNA were produced by two processing plants here (Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods) and one plant from the UK (Dalepak Hambleton).

The products were on sale in Tesco, Dunnes, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland.

While in most cases the amount of horse DNA was at a low level, in one sample from Tesco it accounted for 29% of the meat content.

The retailers have pledged to remove all possible implicated food batches from shelves today.

The Food Safety authority said the findings posed no threat to public health, but it is a major blow to the reputation of the food industry here.

Update, 6.20pm:

Statement from Aldi Stores:

"Aldi Stores (Ireland) takes the quality of all its products extremely seriously and demands the highest standards from its suppliers. In addition, Aldi carries out regular independent testing of all meat products it sells.

"Following notification this afternoon from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) of an issue in relation to our Oakhurst Beef Burgers (8 pack) we have immediately removed the product from sale and have launched an investigation into the matter. We have sought information from one supplier, Silvercrest, which is dealing directly with the FSAI on the issue that has been raised.

"It is important to stress that there is no risk to human health with regard to this product. Any customers who wish to return the product in question will receive an immediate refund.

"No other Aldi products are affected by this issue."

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