Horse meat found in NI cold store

Horse meat found in NI cold store

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), as part of what it calls its ongoing investigations into mislabelled meat, identified a quantity of frozen meat in a cold store on the premises of a company called Freeza Meats in Northern Ireland.

In its statement the FSA says the NI find is potentially linked to the Silvercrest factory in the Republic of Ireland. However, the ABP Food Group has issued a statement of its own wishing to make it clear that Freeza Meats is not part of ABP Newry or any part of the ABP Food Group. It would appear the related link may be to the as yet unidentified Polish source.

A meeting was held at the FSA yesterday to address how testing can maintain consumer confidence in the accuracy of food labelling and was attended by Farming and Food Minister, David Heath, FSA representatives and major food companies and suppliers.

Catherine Brown, chief executive of the FSA, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to agree a way forward to maintain consumer confidence in the food that people eat. We need to move swiftly to get this work under way to reassure consumers.”

Food and Farming Minister David Heath said: “This is a shared problem, and it needs shared solutions. Food businesses’ agreement to give regular updates on meat testing is a significant move that will give consumers confidence in what they’re buying. It’s now important that the industry starts sharing this information as soon as possible.”

The FSA and the food industry will now agree a standardised sampling and testing system which will meet accredited standards and test to an agreed level of DNA.

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