Horse DNA has been found in some beef burgers being sold in UK and Irish supermarkets, the Republic of Ireland’s food safety authority (FSAI) has said. The FSAI said the meat came from two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire.
It said there was no risk to health. The burgers were on sale in Tesco and Iceland in the UK and Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they were on sale in Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi. The FSAI said the retailers stated that they were removing all implicated batches of the burgers.
A total of 27 products were analysed, with 10 of them containing horse DNA and 23 containing pig DNA. Horsemeat accounted for approximately 29% of the meat content in one sample from Tesco.
In addition, 31 beef meal products, including cottage pie, beef curry pie and lasagne, were analysed, of which 21 tested positive for pig DNA.
The chief executive of the FSAI, Professor Alan Reilly, said that while the findings posed no risk to public health, they did raise some concerns.
“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,” he said.