LONDON, Jan 25 – Burger King has ditched an Irish supplier of beef that is at the centre of a food scare after horse meat was discovered in beefburgers sold in Britain and Ireland, where it is deemed to be a taboo.
The US fast-food giant said Wednesday it has decided to replace all Silvercrest beef products in Britain and Ireland with those from another supplier.
“This is a voluntary and precautionary measure,” Burger King said in a statement.
“We are working diligently to identify suppliers that can produce 100 percent pure Irish and British beef products that meet our high quality standards.”
It added: “We take this matter seriously and will continue with our investigations to determine how this situation occurred and what lessons can be learned.”
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) had last week revealed that up to 29 percent of the meat content of some beefburgers was in fact horse, while they also found pig DNA.
The frozen burgers were on sale in high-street supermarket chains Tesco and Iceland in both Britain and Ireland, and in Irish branches of Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes Stores. Tesco is Britain’s biggest retailer.
The FSAI said the burgers had been made at two processing plants in Ireland and one in northern England.
Simon Coveney, Ireland’s agriculture and food minister, said the source of the problem appeared to be products imported from the Netherlands and Spain.
Horse meat is a common sight in central Asia, China, Latin America and parts of Europe.