Minisiter Michelle O'Neill to brief ministers on horse meat scandal

Minisiter Michelle O’Neill to brief ministers on horse meat scandal

AGRICULTURE Minister Michelle O’Neill is holding a special meeting of ministers on Friday over the¬†horse meat scandal.

Ministers will receive an urgent update on the situation from senior officials from the Food Standards Agency at the Loughry agriculture campus in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

Test results for horse meat in processed meals are due later on Friday as detectives continue questioning three men arrested in Wales and England in connection with the mis-labelling scandal.

They were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Fraud Act and were taken into custody from two plants inspected and temporarily shut down by the FSA on Tuesday.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will report on the UK products after asking retailers and suppliers to provide “meaningful results” from tests to detect the presence of horse meat in processed meals labelled as beef.

The test results, for significant levels of horse meat, will come from all beef products such as burgers, meatballs and lasagne.

The FSA said it wanted the food industry to show the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label.

On Thursday, the Department of Education confirmed that burgers had been removed from the menu of all schools across Northern Ireland after horse DNA was found in the supply chain.

The move was described as a precautionary step and the Food Standards Agency confirmed there is no health risk from the products.

“The Department has been advised that a supplier of frozen burgers to Education and Library Boards has instigated a full product recall following detection of trace amounts of equine DNA in the supply chain,” said a Department of Education spokesman.

“This is a precautionary step and the Food Standards Agency has confirmed that there is no food safety or health risk from the products.”

The department spokesman added that the position is “being kept under review”.









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