Silvercrest Foods suspend production after tests show presence of horse meat

Silvercrest Foods, an Irish factory at the center of the burger controversy has this evening announced it is to suspend production at it's plant.

Preliminary laboratory results from samples of burgers taken at the plant by the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority have shown the presence of horse meat.

Seven samples of raw ingredients were tested, one of which, sourced from another Member State, tested positive.

All ingredients in the production of burgers sourced from Irish suppliers tested negative for equine DNA.

Thirteen samples of finished burgers were tested for the presence of equine DNA, with nine testing positive for traces of horse meat while the remaining four tested negative.

A statement from ABP Food Group, who own Silvercrest Foods, said that they believe they have established the source of the contaminated material and have decided to temporarily cease production at the factory.

The company added that this week's production has not been released from the plant.

The Department of Agriculture has said the samples will be sent to Germany for further tests to find out how much horse meat was present.

While the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney said that he welcomes the company's decision to suspend production.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson with the St Vincent de Paul says he believes the beef burgers that have been withdrawn due to the horse meat controversy could be properly labelled and resold - or offered to charities.

Speaking in a personal capacity, regional vice president of the SVP in Cork, Brendan Dempsey said he believed many charities would be willing to take the withdrawn burgers .

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