Asda clears shelves of value burgers as horsemeat scandal knocks £300m off Tesco market value

Suppliers in continental Europe are suspected of being the source of horsemeat found in beef products, a processing firm has claimed

Nearly £300m worth of market value has been knocked off the value of Tesco following reports that a number of its burgers were found to contain horsemeat.

Tesco, along with rivals Lidl and Aldi were found to be selling burgers that contained horse DNA.

Both Asda and Tesco have now cleared products off their shelves as the Food Standards Agency launched an investigation.

In one Tesco product, 29 per cent of the 'beef' content was actually horsemeat.

It emerged today that suppliers in continental Europe are suspected of being the source of the horsemeat, a processing firm has claimed.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) found low levels of horse in beef products sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores.

Burger products which tested positive for horse DNA were produced by Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and one UK plant, Dalepak Hambleton.

Silvercrest, a subsidiary of ABP Foods, said it was pulling products from sale and replacing them with new lines.

"Following tests carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, we have been alerted to frozen beefburgers which contain porcine and equine DNA," said a spokesman.

"Although the products pose no risk to public health, Silvercrest has taken immediate action to isolate, withdraw and replace all suspect product.

"Silvercrest has never purchased or traded in equine product and has launched a full-scale investigation into two continental European third party suppliers who are the suspected source of the product in question."

The bad publicity has pushed Tesco 3.6p lower to 346p, a 1 per cent fall in a FTSE 100 which is down just 0.5 per cent - a fall that comes at a difficult time for the company, which has lost market share against rivals.

Whilst the consequences for Tesco and other supermarkets may be difficult authorities have repeated that there's no threat to public health.

Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the FSAI, said there was no health risk but also no reasonable explanation for horse meat to be found.

"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," Prof Reilly said.

"In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore we do not expect to find it in a burger."

The retailers have told food safety chiefs they are removing all implicated products from their shelves.

The Prime Minister said today that the discovery of horsemeat in supermarket beefburgers was "extremely disturbing" and "completely unacceptable".

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron said there needed to be a full investigation and the Food Standards Agency was looking into the situation.

Mr Cameron said: "It is a very important issue and it is an extremely serious issue. People in our country would have been very concerned to read this morning that when they thought they were buying beefburgers they were buying something that had horse meat.

"It is extremely disturbing news. I have asked the Food Standards Agency to conduct an urgent investigation into this.

"They have made clear there is no risk to public safety because there is no food safety risk but this is a completely unacceptable state of affairs.

"They will be meeting retailers and processors this afternoon, they will be working with them to investigate the supply chain, but it is worth making the point that retailers have to be responsible for what they sell and where it has come from."

Asda said today: "We take matters like this extremely seriously, despite the fact that we aren’t implicated in this report.

"As soon as we were made aware of the issue we launched a full traceability audit with our supplier. This is still underway. 

In the meantime as a precaution we have withdrawn a number of frozen burger products from sale."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
film
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Teacher

£21500 - £31500 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work...

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...

Primary teachers required for schools in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style