Probe launched into last year’s fire at B&F Meats

THE Department of Agriculture is investigating the circumstances surrounding a fire at the B&F Meats plant in Thomastown, which is reported to have happened in August of last year.

THE Department of Agriculture is investigating the circumstances surrounding a fire at the B&F Meats plant in Thomastown, which is reported to have happened in August of last year.

Local fire services say they have no record of the blaze. The company is currently at the centre of the international horsemeat scandal, following the discovery last week that its Carrick-On-Suir plant was dispatching horsemeat labelled ‘beef’ to the Czech Republic.

Operations have been suspended at that facility, and the investigation has since been extended to the company’s Thomastown offices. The Thomastown slaughtering plant, however, has not been in use since the fire was reported.

It has been confirmed that the future of both B&F Meats facilities will be contingent on the results of the current investigation.

“The Department were notified of a fire at the Thomastown plant on 27th August 2012,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture.

“There is an ongoing investigation at B&F meats and decisions taken will be on the basis of the investigation findings.”

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney last week said the investigation into mislabelling would be thorough.

“I am seriously concerned about this development and the Gardai have been fully appraised of this development and are working closely with my Department,” he said.

“The issue here is one of mislabelling and that will be the focus of the investigation.”