Britain's Tesco scraps Irish supplier over horse meat scare

January 30, 2013

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.

Explore further: Burger King drops supplier linked to horsemeat (Update)

Related Stories

Burger King drops supplier linked to horsemeat (Update)

January 24, 2013
(AP)—British and Irish burger fans could face a Whopper shortage. Burger King has stopped buying beef from an Irish meat processor whose patties were found to contain traces of horsemeat.

Horsemeat found in ground burger sold in UK and Irish grocery stores

January 16, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has found evidence of horsemeat in ground meat marketed as beef (meat from cows) and sold in grocery stores in Ireland and the UK. The agency stressed that the ...

Ireland recalls 10 mln burgers on horsemeat fears

January 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 threatens to undermine ...

Recommended for you

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.