Burger King ends beef ban
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Wednesday 02 July 1997
The decision is worth pounds 10m a year to the beef industry which is already celebrating a vote of confidence from burger rival McDonald's worth pounds 30m.
Burger King said yesterday that its announcement was not merely a knee- jerk response to the McDonald's move, but was the result of lengthy negotiations with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the Northern Ireland and UK Meat and Livestock Commissions.
The fast-food chain has asked officials and suppliers to set up a system of tracing meat and guaranteeing that it conforms to standards laid down by the company. Under the Burger King Quality Assurance Scheme, all meat used by the company would come from the flank and forequarters of animals less than 30 months old.
The National Farmers' Union described Burger King's decision as "fantastic news", but the families of many victims of new variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease remain convinced that their relatives contracted the disease from eating beef infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). They are angry that the burger chains have given the impression that all British beef is safe.
But Burger King's managing director David Williams said the decision was based on research which showed 73 per cent of customers supported the return of British beef as long as the meat was backed up by a farm assurance scheme.
"Up to 50 per cent of the beef used in our burgers will be British, the remainder will continue to come from approved suppliers in the EU meeting all UK requirements," he said.
British beef will be reintroduced to the 429 Burger King outlets across the country in the next few weeks.
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