Horsemeat found in Newry beef

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Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Community, News
Horsemeat has been found in beef in a Newry cold store, the Food Standards Agency has revealed.

Freeza Meats in Greenbank Industrial Estate

The Food Standards Agency said the horsemeat was among a consignment at Freeza Meats, based in Newry’s Greenbank Industrial Estate. According to the agency, 12 samples were carried out at Freeza Meats and two came back positive for containing horse meat at 80%. Freeza Meats Ltd was formed in 1974 and initially supplied meat products to the Northern Ireland market. In 1988, the company changed direction under its current management to concentrate on the UK Convenience Food Market. Speaking to Newry Times, DUP MLA William Irwin, who sits on the Assembly Agriculture Committee said this was another concerning incident. “I hope that these issues can be resolved as soon as possible. “These types of incidents, whilst posing no risk to the public, do have an impact on consumers in terms of buying habits and that can be bad for the industry and especially for the primary producer, i.e. the farmer, who is already struggling due to not receiving a fair price for their produce from the processors and big supermarkets.” A spokesperson from Newry and Mourne District Council’s Environmental Health Department confirmed that DNA tests on samples of burgers made at Freeza Meats were found to be free from non-beef DNA. “These tests were completed immediately after the results of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s survey were issued. The spokesperson continued, “However, twelve samples of Polish meat belonging to another company which is under investigation following the horse DNA results from Silvercrest were sent for DNA analysis. “Two of these samples contained approximately 80% horse DNA. This meat had been detained for the last five months due to the condition of its wrapping and queries regarding its labeling and traceability. “The product was sampled as a result of the Food Standards Agency and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s on-going investigation. We can confirm that none of the meat was used in production and it will not be entering the food chain,” the spokesperson for Newry Council added.
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