Horsemeat in burgers at NI agri college

Published Thursday, 21 February 2013
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Horsemeat has been found in burgers supplied to two campuses of Northern Ireland's agricultural colleges.

Horsemeat in burgers at NI agri college
Traces of horsemeat were found in burgers supplied to Loughry and Greenmount. (© UTV)

On Thursday, the Agriculture Minister confirmed the products - supplied to the Loughry and Greenmount campuses by Eurest - tested positive for equine DNA.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Compass, withdrew the burgers from the menu after products from a manufacturer within its supply chain were sent for testing.

"I can confirm that burgers containing horse meat have been supplied to the Eurest outlets at Greenmount and Loughry campuses of CAFRE," the Minister said.

Last week, it was revealed that traces of equine DNA were found in the horsemeat supplied by Compass. The next day, students and staff at the college campuses were told about the contamination.

Its contract with all three of campuses of the College for Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise began in August 2011.

Michelle O'Neill confirmed the presence of horsemeat in burgers in response to a written question by the UUP Agriculture spokesperson, Jo-Anne Dobson.

Mrs Dobson also asked if contaminated meat had been found in any buildings where Department of Agriculture staff work.

"I can also confirm Serco provides the catering services in Dundonald House. They are not aware of any instance where horsemeat has been confirmed in any of the products sold by them," the Minister said.

Mrs Dobson, an MLA for Upper Bann, said the Agriculture Minister needs to return consumer confidence to the meat industry.

"The irony is that students at CAFRE colleges spend their school day learning about best farming practice, but when they sit down in the canteen, burgers containing horsemeat are on the menu.`

"Northern Ireland has the best beef in Europe and yet we have a Department of Agriculture procuring meat products from processors who are damaging the stellar reputation of our farmers. Farmers must not become the fall guys for dubious processing practices," she added.

The burgers at Loughry and Greenmount are the latest in a series of products found to contain horse DNA.

Asda has withdrawn two products from sale - an own-brand bolognese sauce and Northern Ireland company Freeza Meats' frozen beefburgers.

The Newry firm said it had been storing meat, which was from Poland, in its cold store as a goodwill gesture after refusing to buy it from trader McAdam Foods, based in the Republic, and that the meat never entered the local food chain.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Findus beef lasagnes contained up to 100% horsemeat.
Polish authorities have denied their meat suppliers are the source of the contamination.

  • 2013
    16 January 2013
    Burgers with equine DNA traced to Silvercrest Foods & Liffey Meats in Republic.
  • 16 January 2013
    10m burgers taken off the shelves by Tesco, Lidl, Iceland & Dunnes Stores.
  • 17 January 2013
    ABP Food Group suspends work at its Silvercrest Foods plant.
  • 17 January 2013
    Sainsbury's, Asda & Co-op withdraw some frozen products as precaution.
  • 23 January 2013
    Burger King drops ABP Food Group as a supplier.
  • 25 January 2013
    Silvercrest dropped as a supplier by Tesco.
  • 30 January 2013
    Authorities in Republic believe Poland to be source of contamination.
  • 04 February 2013
    75% equine DNA found in raw ingredients at Rangeland Foods, Co Monaghan.
  • 04 February 2013
    The Republic’s Department of Agriculture calls in police.
  • 04 February 2013
    ABP Food Group estimated to have lost €45m in contracts.
  • 05 February 2013
    McAdams meat held at Freeza Meats, Newry found to contain 80% horse.
  • 05 February 2013
    Freeza Meats tell UTV they face ruin over the crisis.
  • 06 February 2013
    Tesco remove frozen meals produced by French company Comigel.
  • Thursday, 07 February 2013 12:14 AM
    Some Findus UK beef lasagnes, made by Comigel, found to contain up to 100% horse.
  • Thursday, 07 February 2013 12:15 AM
    Authorities believe "criminal activity" to blame & order beef testing.
  • Friday, 08 February 2013 12:16 AM
    Tests on Freeza Meat burgers clear. Company feels vindicated.
  • Friday, 08 February 2013 12:17 AM
    Aldi confirms two of its ready meal ranges found to contain up to 100% horse meat.
  • Monday, 11 February 2013 12:18 AM
    Environment Secretary Owen Paterson says legal action will be taken in Europe.
  • Monday, 11 February 2013 12:19 AM
    UFU says farmers in Northern Ireland feel let down by the horsemeat scandal.
  • Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:20 AM
    EU ministers agree to random DNA testing & testing for horse drug bute.
  • Thursday, 14 February 2013 12:21 AM
    Burgers removed from all schools in NI after horse DNA found in supply chain.
  • Friday, 15 February 2013 12:22 AM
    Burgers removed from NI hospitals due to traces of horse DNA found.
  • Friday, 15 February 2013 12:23 AM
    Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill holds meeting with NI Executive ministers.
  • Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:24 AM
    Horse DNA found in burgers supplied to two NI agri college campuses.
  • Monday, 25 February 2013 12:25 AM
    IKEA withdraws batch of meatballs after horsemeat is found.
Horsemeat scandal
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Kyle Henry in Portrush wrote (708 days ago):
I've eaten in Greenmount's cafe and what surprised me the most having had the pleasure of eating a horse burger there, was the fact that it had meat in it in the first place. Regards the horse eating farmer
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