Horsemeat investigation broadens

DUBLIN — Ireland’s government said Monday that DNA testing has confirmed that Polish meat offcuts imported into Ireland and labeled as beef actually contain up to 75 percent horsemeat, a discovery made as Ireland’s food standards scandal forced a second burger manufacturer to shut operations.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said police have joined Ireland’s three-week-old investigation into why horsemeat has been detected in some Irish-produced burgers and the chief suspect, Poland, has yet to supply any adequate explanation.

Ireland’s Food Safety Authority ordered the original DNA tests on Irish-produced burgers to determine whether they contained other meats beside beef. The discovery of horsemeat poses no danger to consumers but highlights the inaccuracy of food labels on some processed meat products and points to potential fraud in the industry. Horsemeat costs a fraction of beef.