Polish company Food Service has denied that it has been involved with the handling of horse meat which was found in burgers in a number of major supermarkets in the UK.
In response to questions posed by FoodManufacture.co.uk, boss of the business Marek Czerniej stated that the company had never handled horse meat and insisted that it strictly complies with European standards to ensure that products such as these never come into contact with their operations. Food Service has been in the middle of the storm which came to light recently that traces of horse DNA were found in beefburgers that were being sold in the UK and Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland's food safety authority (FSAI) stated that the meat had come from processing plants in the two nations. Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods along with Dalepak Hambleton, in Yorkshire, were said to be source of the problem and had supplied the meat to the likes of Tesco and Iceland in the UK and Ireland along with Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi. While the food is said to be of no threat to human health, Mr Czerniej was keen to absolve his business from any wrongdoing.
The Food Service boss told the news provider: "Our production plants do not process (slaughter, debone, pack or freeze) or store any equine meat. The only activity the company is pork slaughter and pork and beef deboning.
"Clarifying the situation with horse DNA found in burger products in Ireland and the UK was in the interest of Food Service."
Another company that has been at the centre of this controversy, County Down-based Freeza Meats, has also publically stated that it does not own the contaminated consignment of meat. Newry and Mourne Council confirmed that the burgers made by the organisation were free from horse meat DNA following a series of tests. The result led the company's owner Martin McAdam to state that there was "clearly an issue" with its Polish supplier.