ABP Food Group – one of the companies embroiled in the horse meat scandal – has pledged to introduce routine DNA testing for its meat products.

In a statement issued late yesterday, ABP said it would better scrutinise its products in the future, after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland found horse DNA in beef burgers supplied by its Silvercrest and Dalepak Hambleton businesses.

Extensive and thorough safety checks were conducted on all meat products, but the industry did not routinely use DNA testing to identify the species in the meat, ABP said. “As a result of this incident, we are implementing a new testing regime for meat products which will include DNA analysis.”

A spokeswoman would not give precise details on what the new testing regime would entail but said a “risk-based” approach would be adopted and testing could be carried out as frequently as weekly, if appropriate. “We are committed to ensuring this cannot happen again and will therefore be undertaking a raft of measures, of which DNA testing will be just one component,” she added.

Yesterday, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced that in a study of beef burgers sold in major retailers in the UK and Ireland, 37% were found to contain horse DNA. The burgers were supplied by ABP subsidiaries Silvercrest Foods and Dalepak Hambleton, and a third supplier, Liffey Meats.

In reaction to the scandal, ABP was currently carrying out DNA tests on a wide number of samples and expected the results in the coming days, the spokeswoman said.