Horse meat has been found in some beef burgers being sold in supermarkets in the UK and Ireland, according to the Republic of Ireland’s food safety authority (FSAI).
The FSAI has found that the meat came from two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods. It also came from the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire.
The BBC reports that the horse meat poses no health risk, but the meat is still being removed from the supermarkets. The burgers were on sale in Tesco and Ireland in the UK and Ireland. They were also for sale in Dunnes Stores, Lidl, and Aldi in the Republic of Ireland.
The FSAI analyzed a total of 27 products and discovered that 10 contained horse DNA while 23 contained pig DNA. In one sample from Tesco, horse meat accounted for 29 percent of the meat content.
FSAI’s chief executive, Professor Alan Reilly, stated that the findings have no health risk to the public, but they still raise concern. The Daily Mail notes that Reilly added:
“Whilst, there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horsemeat in their production process.”
The FSAI reports that its officials are working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the processing plants and retailers involved in the horse meat scandal.
A spokeswoman for Tesco also stated that the company is treating the incident as extremely serious. They intend to include the UK as a whole, not just Northern Ireland, in the investigation. The spokesman added:
“We are working with the authorities in Ireland and the UK, and with the supplier concerned, to urgently understand how this has happened and how to ensure it does not happen again. We will not take any stock from this site until the conclusion and satisfactory resolution of an investigation.”
All of the beef burgers containing horse meat and pig meat have been pulled, and customers who bought products implicated in the scandal can return them to retailers.