NORTHERN IRELAND: The supermarket chain, Asda, has withdrawn four frozen burger products supplied by Northern Ireland company, Freeza Meats, as a precaution, in the wake of the horsemeat controversy.
A batch of meat containing 80 per cent horse DNA was discovered in a cold store at Freeza Meats in Newry.
The Newry company said it was storing the meat for a firm based in the Irish Republic, after declining to buy it.
Freeza Meat said none of the meat had got into the food chain.
Newry and Mourne Council said tests on Freeza Meat’s burgers were free from horse meat DNA.
Asda said its own DNA tests on the burger range had also not found any trace of any horsemeat.
“As a precaution we have withdrawn four frozen burger products produced by a company in Northern Ireland after a separate batch of meat in another part of their premises was found by the Food Standards Agency to contain horse DNA,” it said.
“We conducted our own DNA tests, along with environmental health officers, on the four burger products being produced by Freeza Meats for Asda and these have come back free of any trace of horsemeat.
“Although all the science says there’s no trace of horsemeat in the burgers produced for Asda, we can’t and won’t take any chances when it comes to the authenticity of ingredients in our products.”
Meanwhile, Tesco has withdrawn thousands of packets of its Everyday value spaghetti bolognese amid concerns it could be contaminated with horsemeat.
It followed an alert by a French supplier, Comigel, which is understood to have reported that some of its ingredients did “not conform” to the product specification.
Freeza Meats of Newry said it had been asked by an Irish company to store the meat after they had declined to buy it.
The developments come after the Food Standards Agency announced it had tested meat being stored by Freeza Meats for County Monaghan-based McAdam Foods.
In a statement McAdam Foods said the product had been supplied to McAdam from Poland by a UK meat-trading company.
McAdam Foods has now named two Polish suppliers as the potential source of the problem.
Owner Martin McAdam said he did not know there was any trace of horsemeat in beef supplies and felt let down by their Polish supplier.
He told Monaghan-based Northern Sound Radio that he had “no concerns” the product could be compromised and said it was a reputable business.
“I had not an inkling that this was happening,” he said.