Ireland’s Food Minister Simon Coveney has been left red faced after his brother Patrick was dragged into the horsemeat scandal that has hit the country’s beef industry hard.
The Irish Sun newspaper reports that Patrick Coveney is the chief executive of the huge Greencore food company whose products have tested positive for horsemeat.
Greencore manufactured products have been taken off the shelves by British supermarket giant Asda after positive tests on a beef bolognaise sauce product.
The paper reports that Asda have withdrawn that product and three others as a precaution, all manufactured in Bristol by Greencore which has its HQ in Dublin.
The Irish government, whose food policy is Simon Coveney’s responsibility, have warned that the country is facing an epidemic according to the reports.
Thousands of jobs may now be at risk after the latest scares surrounding horsemeat in beef products.
The report says that a factory in Tipperary owned by Larry Goodman’s ABP Group supplied meat for the sauce pulled from shelves in Britain after it tested positive for equine DNA.
The meat was passed by ABP to Greencore who made Asda’s Chosen By You Beef Bolognese Sauce.
In a statement, Greencore said: “We can confirm that we supplied the Chosen By You 350g Beef Bolognese Sauce that Asda has withdrawn following the detection of traces of equine DNA in a screening test.
“The company is currently awaiting the results of further quantitative tests that will validate the presence and the extent of the equine DNA.”
Minister Coveney said earlier this week that European ministers were ‘determined to get to the bottom’ of the issue.
He said: “I suspect that this isn’t just one trader, one rogue trader in one country, I think that it’s broader than that.”