Burger King says no horsemeat in burgers; Tesco drops U.K. beef supplier
By Jay Keller
Burger King cut ties with beef supplier Silvercrest, a subsidiary of ABP Food Group, in January after regulators found trace evidence of horse DNA in samples, prompting a recall of 10 million frozen beef patties from supermarkets.
“Through our investigation, we have confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier is the same company identified by the Irish Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest’s contamination issue,” Burger King Worldwide said in a statement.
Further testing by independent parties found pork and equine DNA in products sampled at the Silvercrest facility.
Tesco, a retail supermarket brand represented by over 3,000 stores in the U.K. and Ireland, concluded its independent DNA analysis of Silvercrest product, saying the company supplied meat from unapproved third-party sources.
ABP Food Group issued a statement over the weekend acknowledging Tesco’s decision to no longer use the Silvercrest as a supplier.
“We understand their [Tesco’s] decision to stop sourcing from Silvercrest Foods but also welcome their decision to continue sourcing fresh beef from other ABP companies,” ABP Food Group CEO Paul Finnerty said in a statement posted across the company’s website.
ABP closed the Silvercrest facility in January to implement what Finnerty calls comprehensive DNA-testing procedures of which in he hopes ABP will become an industry-leader.
ABP Food Group released a statement on Jan. 16 saying the company never knowingly supplied equine meat products and the issue only affects frozen beef burgers supplied by Silvercrest Foods and another subsidiary, Dalepak Hambleton.
“Ultimately Tesco is responsible for the food we sell, so it is not enough just to stop using the supplier,” Tesco Group Technical Director Tim Smith said. “We are shocked by the result of these tests, and are currently at a loss to explain why one test showed 29 percent equine DNA.”
Burger King Worldwide maintains that non-beef patties were never sold in restaurants despite finding four samples from the Silvercrest testing for the “presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA.”
More Horse Meat Scandal Articles:
Horse meat scandal: With Nestle recall, European customers trust less (February 19th, 2013)
Burger King says no horse meat in burgers; Tesco drops U.K. beef supplier (February 4th, 2013)
Burger King drops U.K. beef supplier over horse-meat scandal (January 24th, 2013)