Horsemeat discovered in beefburgers on sale at Tesco and Iceland - News - Food + Drink - The Independent

Horsemeat discovered in beefburgers on sale at Tesco and Iceland

 

Horsemeat has been discovered in beefburgers sold by the supermarket giants Tesco and Iceland, it emerged tonight. Investigators said that in Tesco's Everday Value burgers, horsemeat accounted for almost one third of the meat content.

The Republic of Ireland's food safety authority (FSAI) claimed meat with "horse DNA" sold in UK and Irish supermarkets had originated from two processing plants in Ireland – Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods – and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in north Yorkshire.

The Food Standards Agency, working with the Irish authorities, established that mainland Britain was part of the area affected. A spokesman said: "At this stage it is not believed to be a food safety risk.

"We are aware that investigations are ongoing to ascertain how or why horsemeat was used in the products."

A total of 27 beef products were analysed by the FSAI with 10 containing horse DNA and a further 23 containing traces of pig DNA.

Tesco was informed of the test results today and immediately withdrew from sale all products from the processing plants, said its group technical director Tim Smith last night. "The presence of illegal meat in our products is extremely serious," he added. "We understand that many of our customers will be concerned by this news, and we apologise sincerely for any distress."

The FSAI analysis also found traces of horse DNA in batches of raw ingredients, including some imported from the Netherlands and Spain.

Professor Alan Reilly, the FSAI chief executive, said there was "no clear explanation" for the presence of horse DNA in beef burgers. "In Ireland it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore we do not expect to find it in a burger."

The Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who sits on the Food, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, said: "Big companies like Iceland and Tesco are responsible for their supply chain and for verifying whether their suppliers are giving them what they should be delivered. It is abhorrent that the suppliers appear to have adulterated the burgers in this way"

Iceland said it had noted the FSAI's findings "with concern". A statement from the chain said it would work with suppliers to investigate the issue. The budget supermarket Aldi confirmed that its Oakhurst Beef Burgers range on sale in Ireland had been affected and had been withdrawn from sale.

FSAI investigators said the findings raised concerns about "the traceability of meat ingredients and products entering the food chain". They added that Jews and Muslims may have unwittingly eaten pork.

John Bryan, president of the Irish Farmers Association, said: "Nothing or no one can be allowed to compromise the high standards and reputation of Irish-produced food."

Liffey Meats blamed the contamination on "imported ingredients". A spokesman said: "We sincerely regret that any product produced by the company would not conform to the highest specifications and sincerely apologise to our customers." Silvercrest added that it had "never purchased or traded in equine product".

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week