Meat firm ABP has started High Court proceedings for breach of contract against Polish supplier, Food Service, relating to their supply of beef containing equine DNA to Silvercrest Foods.

This is the first legal action to be undertaken by an Irish company against foreign meat suppliers, arising from the horse meat contamination scandal.

In an interview with RTE's Prime Time programme last year, Food Service denied any of its products could have been contaminated with equine DNA because horses were never slaughtered at any of its plants in Poland.

ABP has also agreed to accept a financial settlement from Norwest Foods for Norwest supplying Silvercrest with beef containing equine DNA.

Norwest Foods confirmed it has agreed a settlement with ABP relating to the supply by Norwest to ABP of certain beef products found to contain equine DNA.

Norwest said it acknowledges that it may have unknowingly and unwittingly supplied contaminated beef products contrary to the terms of Norwest's contract with ABP.

Paul Finnerty ABP chief executive said that ABP has always insisted that it never knowingly provided beef that contained equine DNA to any of its customers.