17-01-2013 07:20 AM | Ireland

Agriculture officials knew about horse meat for weeks

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has defended a delay of almost four weeks in notifying the public about the presence of horse meat in beef burgers.

It emerged yesterday that the Department of Agriculture had known about the first test results showing the presence of horse meat traces in beef burgers since just before Christmas. It was contacted on December 21 for assistance by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland -- which had got early test results in November.

As 10 million beef burgers were withdrawn from the market, it also emerged that one of the firms involved in the controversy had been audited just last month by his Department of Agriculture.
Full Story : Irish Independent