New tests on burgers produced by Liffey Meats – one of the Irish companies implicated in the horse meat contamination scandal – have found no traces of horse DNA, according to Ireland’s department for agriculture, food and the marine.

The test results, which were announced last night (Monday, 21 January), were carried out on products made by Liffey between 10 and 16 January. They come after earlier tests by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, carried out last year and revealed earlier this month, found trace amounts of horse DNA in three burger samples taken from Liffey.

The department said the new test results were “very positive news” and supported Liffey’s claims that it had addressed “any concerns that arose from the findings of the FSAI survey”.

It added investigations into horse DNA contamination at Silvercrest Foods – a processing plant owned by ABP Food Group, which is also implicated in the horse DNA incident – were continuing. These involved further lab analysis of samples from Silvercrest as well as “detailed analysis of records held by the company relating to the sourcing of ingredients and the incorporation of these ingredients in the manufactured burgers,” the department said.

ABP has chosen to temporarily suspend all production at Silvercrest, after new tests by the department, announced last week, once again found horse DNA in some of its products.

Investigations into the source of the ingredients suspected of introducing the horse DNA into burgers are focusing on third-party suppliers from Continental Europe. Reports in the Irish media over the weekend initially suggested the investigations may have moved away from Europe, but ABP has since clarified that the Continent still remains the focus of investigations.