Traces of horse meat have been found in burgers on sale in some of the UK and Ireland’s busiest supermarkets, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) says.
Scientific tests on beef products sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores uncovered low levels of the animal’s DNA. Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the FSAI, said there was no health risk but also no reasonable explanation for horse meat to be found.
“The products we have identified as containing horse DNA and/or pig DNA do not pose any food safety risk and consumers should not be worried,” he said. According to the research by the FSAI, one sample of burger goods, Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers, showed about 29 per cent horse meat relative to beef content.
“In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horse meat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger.” The retailers have removed all implicated products from their shelves.
Prof Reilly said traces of other meats would be unacceptable for people who may not eat certain food on religious grounds. “Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable,” he said.