There is no danger of horse DNA being found in kosher meat, consumers have been told following the scandal which hit non-kosher products this week.
Horse DNA and traces of pork were found in beefburgers sold in major British supermarkets, including Tesco, and produced by an Irish abattoir which was once a leading kosher meat facility. Much of the meat was subsequently withdrawn from sale.
One kosher-supervised company in Lancashire works with Liffey Meats, based in County Cavan, Ireland, and supplies kosher butchers in London and Manchester.
But the JC understands that the kosher meat is not sourced from the Liffey production facilities at which the horse DNA was found.
Manchester Beth Din administrator Rabbi Yehuda Brodie said safeguards in the shechita process meant no horse or pig matter would be present in supervised products.
The London Board for Shechita confirmed that it had not carried out any religious slaughter at the Irish abattoir for a number of years.
A joint venture between the two Jewish organisations and Liffey Meats was launched in 2000. The firm had produced kosher beef for the Israeli market for 15 years until January 1999.
Rabbi Brodie said: “This story highlights the importance of buying kosher meat produced under a registered authority, where the added safeguards involved in supervision would ensure that any incident such as this could not possibly happen.
“It should also serve as a lesson to those who, whilst not particular about eating kosher meat, would draw the line at eating pig or horse meat. Such a practice is fraught with danger.”
Liffey managing director Francis Mallon said the DNA traces had been found in three products and represented “no risk to human health”.