* Ireland says Polish producers responsible
* Poland's veterinary inspector says no horse meat at plants
By Chris Borowski
WARSAW, Feb 6 Poland's veterinary officials have
asked Ireland to allow them to take samples at an Irish meat
plant in a dispute between the two countries over who is
responsible for horse meat found in grounded beef which was sold
to food companies.
The controversy surrounding the discovery of horse DNA in
beef products sold by an Irish firm to companies such as Tesco
and Burger King has tainted beef production in
Ireland, the world's fourth largest beef exporter, and Poland.
Ireland says Polish producers are the likely sources of the
contamination although Poland's veterinary inspector said it
found no signs of horse meat at any plants that provided beef to
The office of Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer said it
would now inspect all abattoirs and plants processing horse meat
after Ireland's agriculture department found 75 percent horse
DNA in tests of Polish meat at Rangeland Foods, a second
producer with contaminated beef products.
It said it backed the request of one Polish producer to
receive counter samples from the Rangeland facility, which was
rejected by the Irish government.
"Because of this, the Chief Veterinary Officer has turned to
Ireland's government today about a possibility of taking counter
samples in the presence of representatives of both companies and
representatives of Polish veterinary inspectors," it said in a
Poland exports 330,000 tonnes of beef products annually, or
more than three-quarters of its total production, mainly to
other European Union members.
Silvercrest, a plant run by Ireland's most powerful beef
baron Larry Goodman, was the first whose burgers were found to
contain horsemeat last month.
Initial tests on burgers produced by another Irish company,
Liffey Meats, also tested positive for low traces of horse DNA,
although further tests came back clear.
Burger King, one of the most popular fast food chains in
Britain and Ireland, said last week its affected burgers never
reached any eateries. Tesco withdrew a number of products from
its shelves, including one sample where horse meat accounted for
about 29 percent of content.
Smaller retail chains Aldi, Lidl and
Iceland have also sold beef products found to contain