Britain's Tesco scraps Irish supplier over horse meat scare

British retail giant Tesco said Wednesday it has axed an Irish beef supplier which sparked a food scare after horse DNA was found in beefburgers in Britain and Ireland, where horse meat consumption is taboo.

Tesco said in a statement that it has decided to stop using Silvercrest after uncovering evidence that it used meat from non-approved suppliers, mirroring a move by US fast-food chain Burger King last week.

Two weeks ago, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) had 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 Tesco and Iceland in both Britain and Ireland, and in Irish branches of Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes Stores.

The FSAI had said burgers had been made at two processing plants in Ireland and one in northern England.

Following the news, Britain's biggest retailer Tesco issued an immediate apology and pledged to investigate the matter.

It said Silvercrest apparently used suppliers that Tesco had not authorised, as well as using meat from outside Britain and Ireland.

"Consequently we have decided not to take products from that supplier in future. We took that decision with regret but the is simply too great," Tesco technical director Tim Smith said in Wednesday's statement.

The supermarket group added that it would also implement across its meat products to prevent such an incident happening again.

"Ultimately Tesco is responsible for the food we sell, so it is not enough just to stop using the supplier."

"We want to leave customers in no doubt that we will do whatever it takes to ensure the quality of their food and that the they buy is exactly what the label says it is," added Smith.

The consumption of horse meat is a common sight in central Asia, China, Latin America and parts of Europe.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ireland recalls 10 mln burgers on horsemeat fears

Jan 16, 2013

An Irish meat processor recalled 10 million burgers Wednesday from supermarkets across Ireland and Britain amid fears that many could contain horsemeat, a discovery that poses no danger to public health but ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments