Friday, February 22 17:47:52
Co Tipperary based B and F Meats, which has processing plants in Thomastown and Carrick-on-Suir, has closed after becoming the latest to be caught up in the horse meat scandal.
Operations have been suspended at the company's Carrick-on-Suir facility as the Department of Agriculture's Special Investigation Unit carries out a forensic examination.
The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation has also been called in.
The Kilkenny People newspaper this evening reported that the plant was dispatching horsemeat to a customer in the Czech Republic via a UK-based trader using a label in the Czech language which, when translated, refers to beef.
The Department has now suspended all operations at the plant with immediate effect. Officers of the SIU this afternoon entered the plant to carry out a full investigation.
This involves forensic examination of electronic data and records associated with consignments of beef products. It also involves detailed inspections of certain food business operators including traders, transporters, processors and exporters.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney issued a statement shortly after 4pm today.
"I am seriously concerned about this development and the Gardai have been fully appraised of this development and are working closely with my Department," he said.
"The issue here is one of mislabelling and that will be the focus of the investigation."