November 2012
An environmental health officer inspects premises at Northern Irish supplier Freeza Meats. She finds 12 tonnes of frozen beef. Tests detect 80% horsemeat. The Food Safety Authority Ireland conducts testing on supermarket beefburgers, which detect up to 29% horsemeat.

15 January 2013
FSA Ireland publishes its test results online. The day before, it had informed Irish ministers and its counterparts at the UK Food Standards Agency.

16 January 2013
The FSA meets with representatives from the food & drink industry, agreeing a four-point action plan. This includes an urgent review of where adulterated products were sourced from, whether legal action is required, and a UK-wide authenticity study of processed meat products. The same day 10 million beefburgers are taken off supermarket shelves.

17 January 2013
The ABP Food Group suspends work at the implicated Silvercrest Foods facility in County Monaghan, Ireland, until further notice.

25 January 2013
The Department of Agriculture in the Republic of Ireland reveals it has taken more than 130 samples from the Silvercrest facility with around 20% equine DNA in burgers and raw material.

4 February 2013
Production at a second meat supplier, Rangeland Foods in County Monaghan, is suspended after 75% equine DNA is found in raw ingredients at the supplier, Ireland’s Department of Agriculture confirms.

6 February 2013
Tesco and Aldi remove frozen spaghetti and lasagne meals produced by French food supplier Comigel after the Food Standards Agency reports incidents of its beef lasagne containing up to 100% horsemeat.

15 February 2013
Results from further tests conducted by supermarkets are released. Of 1,052 results, accounting for 65% of all products within the scope of the investigation, only five of them had failed.

April 2013
The police investigation into the sale of contaminated meat – Operation Boldo – begins.

June 2013
Professor Chris Elliott agrees to conduct a review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks in the UK to understand how Horsegate had happened in the first place.

July 2013
Andronicos Sideras, the boss of Dinos & Sons, is arrested after his fingerprints were found on suspect labels attached to a shipment of what investigators found to be a mix of about 30% horsemeat and 70% beef in Northern Ireland.

April 2014
Prosecutors in France file fraud charges against Dutch businessman Jan Fasen amid claims that his company Draap Trading supplied the adulterated beef that ended up in Findus lasagnes.

September 2014
Elliott publishes his final report. His findings are labelled ‘explosive’ and highlight that the drive to cut prices in the food and drink supply chain contributed to a climate in which the UK became vulnerable to fraud.

January 2015
The National Food Crime Unit recommended by Elliott is up and running, though questions continue as to whether it possesses the necessary skills and funding to investigate and tackle a serious fraud on the scale of Horsegate.

March 2015
West Yorkshire abattoir owner Peter Boddy is fined £8,000 after pleading guilty to breaching EU traceability regs. The 65-year-old sold 55 carcases without keeping records of where they were going, 37 of which he claimed went to Italian restaurants.

October 2016
Alex Beech, 44, and Ulrik Nielsen, 57, from Flexi-Foods, both plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud between January and October 2012. Sentencing is postponed until the trial of the third suspect Sideras, who pleads not guilty.

September 2017
Sideras, 55, is found guilty in July and sentenced to four and a half years. Nielsen is jailed for three and a half years at Inner London Crown Court, and Alex Beech is given a suspended sentence.