The Northern Irish company identified last night by the Food Standards Agency regarding the discovery of frozen meat containing 80% horse DNA has stressed it was merely storing the product on behalf of another company.
The FSA said last night that it found high levels of horse DNA in two samples taken from frozen meat “currently detained in a cold store on the premises of a company called Freeza Meats in Northern Ireland”.
This was then widely reported as Freeza Meats products having tested positive for horse DNA.
However, Freeza Meats said it had merely stored the products in its cold store for meat trader McAdam Foods, from County Monaghan. It said it was approached by the company in August 2012 to purchase “a parcel of raw material”, which it said it declined. It was then subsequently asked to hold the product in storage, “which we did in goodwill in a separated area of the storage facility”.
McAdam has confirmed that it asked Freeza to store the product, which it claims was supplied to it via a meat trader based in the UK.
Freeza stressed that its own products had all tested negative for horse and that the local environmental health office was fully aware that the product was not Freeza’s.
Freeza added it employed about 45 people, whose jobs could be put at risk by suggestions its own products were implicated in the horse DNA scandal.
Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuiness has called for the police to get involved the investigations following the discovery at Freeza, but a spokeswoman for the FSA said the agency had not yet asked for police to be involved.