Latest burger test results to be published in coming days, says Simon CoveneyFriday 25 January 2013 06.22
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he has received the results of the latest batch of tests carried out on burgers at the Silver Crest processing plant.
He made the comments in response to questions about the ongoing investigation into the source of contamination in beef burgers
Mr Coveney said the latest results relate to on 24 new burger samples which were tested at a facility in Germany.
He added that he would publish these results over the coming days.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Mr Coveney also said that big companies "want answers" in relation to the source of the horsemeat/horse DNA and said he is contact with Tesco and Burger King on the matter.
He said he was close to finding a common ingredient to all of the problem burgers, but said he was not going to "point the finger" at the source of the problem until he had the facts to back that up.
Earlier today Mr Coveney said the the investigation into the source of contamination in beef burgers is focusing on both domestic and international products.
He added that said all ingredients must be tested and that the Irish ingredients have tested negative so far.
Last week, it was reported that the horse DNA was from abroad - contained in possible ingredients from either the Netherlands or Spain.
The minister said they are now in the process of putting a very complex jigsaw together in terms of finding a common ingredient.
Handling of controversy criticised
The Irish Farmers' Association has said the Food Safety Authority of Ireland handled the horse DNA controversy badly.
IFA President John Bryan said the FSAI's initial statement on the matter was misleading.
Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, he said the traces of horse DNA found in all but one of the burger tests were negligible.
He said it would have been more accurate to say that just one of the burgers tested - the one in which horse DNA made up 29% of the meat content - had come back positive.
Mr Bryan also said he wants the pace of the investigation to quicken and he compared it with the pork dioxin crisis, which he said was sorted out in three to four days.
He said there has already been a big recall of burgers from Silvercrest.
Mr Bryan said he is concerned about jobs, adding that the controversy had already cost Silvercrest its Burger King contract.
Earlier, Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív said Minister Coveney should go before the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to explain what he does know about horse meet ending up in beef burgers produced in Ireland.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said: "If there are certain facts that have not yet been established, well we need to know what they are, why they are not established and when they'll be established.