Horsemeat In Burgers: Tesco Removes Product
Tesco, along with a number of other supermarkets, has removed certain brands of frozen beefburgers from its shelves in the UK and Ireland after they were found to contain horsemeat.
A study examining the authenticity of a number of beefburger, beef meal and salami products available from retail outlets in Ireland found horsemeat accounted for approximately 29% of the content in one sample of Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers.
Tests on beef products sold in Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores uncovered low levels of horse DNA.
Authorities have said there is no threat to public health, but the issue is one of consumer confidence and shoppers being able to trust that what they are eating is what was stated on the label.
Tim Smith, group technical director at Tesco, said: "We immediately withdrew from sale all products from the supplier in question.
"We are working with the authorities in Ireland and the UK, and with the supplier concerned, to urgently understand how this has happened and how to ensure it does not happen again.
"We will not take any products from this site until the conclusion and satisfactory resolution of an investigation.
"We understand that many of our customers will be concerned by this news, and we apologise sincerely for any distress."
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) tested for the presence of horse and pig DNA.
A total of 27 beefburger products were analysed, with 10 (37%) testing positive for horse DNA and 23 (85%) testing positive for pig DNA.
Some 31 beef meal products including cottage pie, beef curry pie and lasagne were also analysed. Twenty-one were found to have pig DNA, while all were negative for horse DNA.
All 19 salami products analysed tested negative for horse DNA, but traces were detected in batches of raw ingredients including some imported from The Netherlands and Spain.
The beefburger products which tested positive for horse DNA were produced by two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, and one in the UK, Dalepak Hambleton.
They were on sale in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland. In nine of the 10 beefburger samples from these retailers, horse DNA was found at low levels.
The tests found horse DNA in the following products: Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers 29.1%, Tesco Beef Quarter Pounders 0.1%, Oakhurst Beef Burgers in Aldi 0.3%, Moordale Quarter Pounders in Lidl 0.1%, Flamehouse Chargrilled Quarter Pounders in Dunnes Stores 0.1%, and two varieties of Iceland Quarter Pounders 0.1%.
Even lower levels were recorded in Moordale Beef Burgers in Lidl and St Bernard Beef Burgers in Dunnes Stores.
Sky's Health and Science Correspondent Thomas Moore said: "These days, meat is traded around Europe. There is a suggestion that this horse meat didn't actually come from Britain or Ireland and it may well have been imported from Spain or Holland.
"In some parts of the continent, horse meat is eaten and is perfectly normal."
The FSAI said it was working with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as well as the processing plants and retailers involved.
It said the retailers had pledged to remove all implicated batches from their shelves immediately. In addition, Silvercrest Foods was withdrawing all products from sale and replacing them with new ones.
Aldi said it was conducting its own investigation. "We have sought information from one supplier, Silvercrest, which is dealing directly with the FSAI on the issue that has been raised," it said.
Lidl said it had taken the decision to remove all implicated products from sale pending a full investigation.
"A refund will be provided to customers who wish to return affected products," a spokesman said.
Professor Alan Reilly, the chief executive of the FSAI, said although consumers need not worry, the findings did raise a number of concerns.
He said: "The products we have identified as containing horse DNA and/or pig DNA do not pose any food safety risk and consumers should not be worried. Consumers who have purchased any of the implicated products can return them to their retailer.
"Whilst there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horse meat in their production process.
"In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horse meat, and therefore we do not expect to find it in a burger. Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable."
:: The FSAI operates an advice line on 1890 33 66 77 from 9am-5pm.
what do you think?
That's what my hubby just said. Cheap meat.it was cats in a Chinese restaurant here a while ago
Where do you think all the animals which get put down at the vets go,we've probably eaten them too. You cannot trust any company where profit is concerned.And many were slagging off Andy Burnham for wanting to ban foods not good for us.
On a related note, hamburgers is an anagram of shergar bu m :)
I was wondering why peaple seemed to be wondering around with long faces.
stop horsing around Shaun
Were the beef burgers on the MANE menu?
People !!!!! Use a spell check, man.
Thats why I found a stirrup in my Tesco quarter pounder yesterday
i was once told how a zoo elephant was chopped up outside an abatoir to be turned into pet food so nothing surprises me in the food industry
BSE was caused by feeding cows and sheep brains and spinal cords of other animals.
I never eat Bürgers at all.Can't stand them.
It makes a bit of a nonsense of all the animal passports and all the supposed documentation introduced after BSE which is supposed to allow beef to be traced from farm to table.
Just look on the packet when you shop if it says made in Ireland put it back. I would think it turns out to be most saver brands Morrison's savers, asda smart price.
If you are going to buy frozen burgers then you deserve to eat crap.
Why aren't the brands named quick enough to use names when celebrities accused of something! Name them and shame them
Why? It was such a tiny proportion of the burger and people eat horsemeat. I see no problem.
A stable economy?
I had horse meat when visiting europe, it actually tastes just as nice if not nicer than some cuts of beef/steak etc, I have often found Tesco's "everyday" brand foods to be rather bland anyway, maybe it was added to give it some flavour.
My wife ate one and she hasn't spoken to me since, but I'm not complaining she gives me a lift to work each morning.
It's all meat. The frogs eat it, so what's the problem.
d and d Phillips
Beefburgers for tea? Nay, nay, nay!
I'm surprised they found any meat content....
It may not be there culture to eat horsemeat in Ireland but they have no problems shipping live horses for slaughter to the likes of Poland
That's it. I'm going veggie.
Just been to the freezer to check my tescos burgers ......AND THE'RE OFF!!!!
i dont see what the problem is after all doner meat isnt lamb, in fact there is a posibility that wasnt even an organic lifeform. Yet doner kebabs are consumed in there thousands at week ends and no one Just dont think about what your eating. Because one day if food became in short supply, red rum might just need to become yum yum! Dont the french eat horse meat any way?