A MEAT processing plant singled out by food safety experts after traces of horsemeat was found in beef burgers, has received a clean bill of health.
The Dalepak Hambleton plant in Leeming Bar, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire was named along with two facilities in Ireland by the Food safety Authority of Ireland as being the sources of the contamination.
The news made front page headlines and led to millions of burgers supplied to supermarkets such as Tesco, Aldi, Iceland, Waitrose and Lidl being removed from the shelves.
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Although the majority of tests only found small amounts of horse and pig DNA, one burger was found to contain 29 per cent horse meat relative to its beef content.
Dalepak and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland, subsidiaries of the ABP Food Group, one of Europe's biggest processors, launched investigations into the source of the contamination and blamed European suppliers.
Today (January 25), Britains Food Safety Authority said tests at the Dalepak plant had found no traces of meat contaminated with horse or pork DNA.
A spokeswoman said: "The FSA has today received the results of tests conducted on samples taken from the Dalepak plant by North Yorkshire Trading Standards.
"North Yorkshire Trading Standards focused on the burger product lines implicated in the survey carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
"They took seven samples, comprising all the meat being used currently in the production of these lines. Neither horse nor pork DNA was detected in any of these samples."
The FSA said investigations were continuing into the origin of the horse and pork DNA detected in some Dalepak products produced in 2012.
In another boost, Waitrose, which had removed burgers made by Dalepak from its shelves "as a precaution" said it was now happy after analysis had found they contained 100 per cent beef.
"As a consequence we are 100 per cent confident in the integrity of our supply chain," it said.
"The ingredients in our burgers are simple with all meat traceable back to British farms that we know.
"Our technical team visited the Dalepak site last week and were happy that our products were produced to our high specification and separately from other companies products (ours are produced at 6am before other any other burgers)."