ABP is swift to respond to ‘horsegate’ findings

ABP is swift to respond to ‘horsegate’ findings

Following the Irish investigations into the horsemeat in burgers scandal the ABP Food Group is to appoint a new management team at the Silvercrest facility and will be undertaking a Group reorganisation.

With immediate effect responsibility for the Silvercrest business has transferred to ABP Ireland (the Irish chilled beef division). The sister business in the UK, Dalepak Foods, will come under the immediate control of ABP UK (the UK chilled beef business).

The Group will be independently auditing all its third party suppliers and ABP has already started to implement a new DNA testing regime over and above any legal requirements. This DNA testing (including equine) will be in addition to its current comprehensive testing regime, which the company carries out for food safety requirements.

The source of the contaminated meat from Poland is not related to ABP’s plant in Poznan. As with all other parts of the group, the company confirmed that this plant does not process any horse meat.

Paul Finnerty, group chief executive, ABP Food Group said: “This has been a very difficult experience for all involved and has led to a significant interruption in business for Silvercrest and its customers. We are relieved that the source of the problem has been identified.”

“While the company has never knowingly purchased or traded in equine product, I wish to take this opportunity to apologise for the impact this issue has caused.”

The company was initially alerted to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland findings on the evening of Monday 14th January. Whilst this was never a food safety issue ABP said it immediately took the decision to recommend to its customers that they withdraw relevant products. When it became apparent that additional tests had indicated that other Silvercrest products might be affected with equine DNA contamination the company immediately suspended production at its Silvercrest plant.

As previously stated the company says it has never knowingly bought or processed horse meat and all of its purchases are from approved and licensed EU plants.

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