Meat processor ABP Food says it has established the source of contaminated material that led to horsemeat being found in beefburgers sold by major supermarkets.
It came as officials from the the Irish Department of Agriculture confirmed that more burgers had tested positive for equine DNA.
Two ABP subsidiaries – Irish fim Silvercrest Foods and Yorkshire company Dalepak – have been implicated in the tests by the Food Standards Authority of Ireland.
ABP investigations to uncover the source of the contamination have centred around two third party EU companies that supply meat products to the firm’s subsidiaries
These suppliers are believed to be based in the Netherlands and Spain.
A statement sent by ABP to Farmers Weekly said: “We believe that we have established the source of the contaminated material to one of these suppliers.”
The responsible course of action was to suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect, said the statement.
This week’s production has not been released from the plant, it added.
The statement added: “During the suspension of production, all staff will continue to be paid, and we will be working with the relevant authorities, management and supervisory team to complete our investigation.
We will continue to communicate with our customers and suppliers over the coming days.”