KFC and other restaurants have been caught red-handed in the beef scandal

The Irish government has suspended the export of beef in the wake of the scandal engulfing McDonald’s, as the company faces fresh questions over its handling of the beef crisis.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs (DAAC) said on Tuesday that the Irish market would not be able to buy McDonald’s beef until further notice.

The announcement came after a letter from the Irish Food and Veterinary Authority (IFAVA) in which it said the company had failed to provide adequate assurance of the quality of its meat, and was in breach of the EU’s labelling directive.

McDonald’s said the suspension was a precautionary measure and that the company was “reviewing its supply chain to ensure it does not pose a threat to the Irish economy”.

McDonald’s has faced criticism over its use of a subsidiary company, Fonterra, to supply its suppliers with raw meat.

The Irish company also faces allegations that it has used Irish labour to do its own manufacturing.

The beef scandal has brought renewed pressure on Michelin-starred chef Simon Cowell to step down as host of The Taste of Britain, where he will be replaced by Nick Clegg, a former BBC chef.

The prime minister, Michael D Higgins, has vowed to resign if he is re-elected in June’s general election.

Michelin has also suspended Cowell, who has been criticised for failing to apologise after his comments about the beef.