Ireland’s agriculture minister has sought assurances from Poland’s food safety authorities that beef burger filler supplied by Polish companies to Irish and UK processors will not again contain horse DNA.

Simon Coveney told journalists last night (28 January) that he has been in touch with his counterpart in Poland over the issue.

His comments came during a press conference following an EU Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting – Ireland currently holds the presidency of the Council.

“There’s an ongoing discussion with Polish authorities to establish how it could have happened and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Coveney said. He added that the matter was not raised during the Council meeting.

Last weekend, Irish officials named Poland as the source of the horse DNA that was earlier this month found in beef burgers on sale in Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland in the UK and Ireland. The findings have prompted recalls and questions about the adequacy of traceability measures in the food supply chain.  

Earlier today, undeclared horse meat DNA has been found in Spanish burgers, a leading consumer organisation revealed.