Thursday, March 14 17:09:23
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has sharply criticised a number of beef companies for "sloppy management" uncovered during the official investigation into horsemeat contamination.
Speaking in a special debate in the Dail, Mr Coveney said the practices of the Silvercrest and QK Cold Stores firms were totally unacceptable.
He also said he was extremely concerned at the failure of Silvercrest's parent company, ABP Foods, to maintain proper oversight.
Mr Coveney said QK had knowingly withheld information about problems in the supply chain, while Silvercrest had failed to respect customer specifications.
A third company, B&F Meats, was found to be involved in mislabelling of a limited quantity of horsemeat for export to the Czech Republic.
Mr Coveney told TDs that sloppy management and fraudulent practices had threatened the reputation of Irish food products and he outlined a range of steps that had now been taken.
He said the focus would now be on food authenticity as much as food safety and that would require a range of extra tests.