Horsemeat found in burgers sold in a number of large supermarket outlets has stunned shoppers, with some burgers found to contain a ratio of 29 percent horsemeat to beef.
Food safety chiefs in Ireland have revealed the surprising content after scientific tests were conducted on burger products from a number of large supermarket chains in the country.
Beef products were tested on in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland, and revealed traces of horse DNA.
Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), has ensured consumers that there was no health risk from the horsemeat content, according to the Press Association. However, he also added that there was no reasonable explanation as to why horsemeat would be in the burgers.
Reports have confirmed that on one sample of burgers from Tesco's Everyday Value Beef Burgers, there was about 29 percent horsemeat to beef content ratio, according to the FSAI.
Reilly has said, "Whilst there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horse meat in their production process," according to PA.
He added, "In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horse meat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger."
According to reports the retailers listed have confirmed that they will be removing all burgers found to contain horsemeat from their shelves. Consumers have also been advised that they have the right to return any listed products to the retailer they purchased from.
Tesco, one of the largest supermarket chains in the world, has said it was treating the finding with the upmost seriousness, where as Aldi has confirmed it is investigating, while Lidl stated that it is in the process of removing all products found to have horsemeat in from sale, with a full investigation pending.
Horsemeat was also found in the following: Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers 29.1%; Tesco Beef Quarter Pounders 0.1%; Oakhurst Beef Burgers in Aldi 0.3%; Moordale Quarter Pounders in Lidl 0.1%; Flamehouse Chargrilled Quarter Pounders in Dunnes Stores 0.1%; two varieties of Iceland Quarter Pounders 0.1%.