ABP closes burger plant over horsemeat fears

Meat processor ABP has announced the suspension of production at its Irish burger plant following the results of further positive tests for horse DNA in its products.

The test results, taken on Tuesday, 15 January, from product already withdrawn from sale by Silvercrest Foods, were announced by the Irish Minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney.

In a statement, the Minister said that 13 samples of finished burgers were tested with nine testing positive for traces of horse DNA.

The Minister and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are carrying out further tests in Germany to confirm the exact quantities of equine matter in the product.

Meanwhile the ABP Food Group has confirmed it is temporarily suspending production at Silvercrest Foods while investigations are being carried out.

In a statement, the company said its investigations were centred around two third party suppliers on the Continent and said they had established the source of the contaminated material to one of the two suppliers.

It added: “Whilst, we are temporarily closing down the entire plant for purposes of expediency, we would like to reiterate that all Burger King products produced by us are stored separately and manufactured on an independent line. There is no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any Burger King products.

“We anticipate that the facility will be closed for several days to complete the sanitation process. During this time, all staff will continue to be paid, and we will be working with the relevant authorities, management and supervisory team to complete our investigation. We will continue to communicate with our customers and suppliers over the coming days.”

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