The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed that horse DNA found in beef burgers sold in UK supermarkets originated in Poland.

The FSAI confirmed “significant amounts” of equine DNA was found in raw materials imported from Poland which formed the base for burgers produced at Silvercrest.

The Polish firm implicated has not been named. Silvercrest owner ABP Food Group has said it is changing its management team as a result of the scandal which found traces of equine and pig DNA in burgers sold in Tesco and Iceland in the UK and Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl in Ireland.

The FSAI said: “The investigation has therefore established a direct correlation between burgers in which a high level of equine DNA was detected and this raw material product.

“Over 140 samples of primary products and ingredients had been tested for equine DNA. Three burgers and one imported ingredient tested positive for significant levels of equine DNA.”

The FSAI said it has notified the Polish authorities and the matter is now with them.

ABP Food Group chief executive Paul Finnerty said: “This has been a very difficult experience for all involved and has led to a significant interruption in business for Silvercrest and its customers. We are relieved that the source of the problem has been identified.

“While the company has never knowingly purchased or traded in equine product, I wish to take this opportunity to apologise for the impact this issue has caused.”