Burger King drops supplier linked to horsemeat

Last updated 10:55 25/01/2013

Related Links

Horse found in Irish burgers

Relevant offers

World

Fake ultrasounds, fake bellies and Fake a Baby.com get US girl in trouble Wife of former Bathurst Resources boss jailed for welfare fraud Australia's 7-Eleven stores put on life support Rupert Murdoch brings Rebekah Brooks back to News Corp after phone hacking scandal Financial crisis returns? Fund manager warns of market trouble ahead Google refines logo as it prepares to join Alphabet Wall St slides nearly 3 per cent as China fears resurface Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pregnant with twins Virginia TV shooting: NRA advocate tells grieving parents not to be 'emotional' Big names feel the power of hackers as corporate hotshots go down

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.

The fast food chain said it had dropped Silvercrest Foods as a supplier for its UK and Ireland restaurants as a "voluntary and precautionary measure."

Last week Silvercrest, which is owned by ABP Food Group, shut down its production line and recalled 10 million burgers from supermarket shelves in Britain and Ireland after horse DNA was found in some beef products.

Burger King said the decision to drop the supplier "may mean that some of our products are temporarily unavailable." It stressed that "this is not a food safety issue."

The company added that there was "no evidence to suggest any of the Silvercrest product supplied to Burger King was affected" by the horsemeat contamination.

Rival McDonald's said it does not buy beef from Silvercrest or other affected suppliers.

The presence of horsemeat in beef is a sensitive issue in Britain and Ireland, which do not have a tradition of eating horses.

The British tabloid The Sun reported the Burger King story under the headline "Shergar King," a reference to a famous racehorse.

Products from another Irish firm and one in Britain also were contaminated by horsemeat.

Most had only small traces, but one burger of a brand sold by the British supermarket chain Tesco contained 29 percent horsemeat.

Irish food officials say an ingredient imported from an unspecified European country and used as filler in cheap burgers is the likely source of the horsemeat contamination.

Burger King says its patties are made from 100 percent beef.

Officials say the horsemeat poses no risk to human health, but the episode has raised food security worries.

More concern arose when lawmaker Mary Creagh, environment spokeswoman for Britain's opposition Labour Party, said that several horses slaughtered in the country last year had tested positive for phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug given to horses that can cause cancer in humans.

"It is possible that those animals entered the human food chain," she said.

The Food Standards Agency confirmed that meat from five horses had tested positive for the drug, but said none had been approved for sale in Britain.

It said the relevant food safety authorities were informed in cases where the meat was exported to other countries.

The agency said no horsemeat in the current scandal contained phenylbutazone.

Very little horsemeat is sold in Britain but the country sends thousands of horses a year abroad to be killed for meat.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content