Burger King has returned to sourcing 100% British and Irish beef burgers for its restaurants in the UK and Ireland, after the horsemeat scandal forced it to temporarily buy burgers from Italy and Germany.
The burger chain announced a new deal with Kepak Group today, under which it will buy British and Irish beef patties from Kepak’s Ballybay site – formerly home to ABP’s Silvercrest business.
Kepak acquired the site from ABP for an undisclosed amount in mid-April.
Burger King said the Ballybay site would be subject to “frequent and rigorous” audits, and the Irish government had also committed to carrying out inspections and tests at the site.
Irish agriculture minister Simon Coveney said Burger King’s decision to source from Ireland again was “very positive news” for the Irish beef industry. “Today’s announcement is confirmation of the important role Irish beef plays when it comes to global brands like Burger King. I want to thank Burger King and Kepak for their continued support for the Irish beef industry.”
Kepak MD John Horgan said Kepak had a proven track record in beef processing and burger-making, and said the Burger King deal would mean the company would become more vertically integrated. “It will be able to leverage manufacturing beef output from its own Irish and UK primary processing facilities to service the fast-growing Burger King quick-service restaurant estate,” he added.
Burger Kind EMEA president Jose Cil said he was delighted to be back to sourcing 100% British and Irish beef for restaurants in the UK and Ireland.
Burger King ditched Silvercrest and switched to buying German and Italian beef patties at the end of January, after products made by Silvercrest for Burger King tested positive for horse DNA. Burger King said at the time the products had not actually made it from Silvercrest to any Burger King restaurants, and no products on sale in its restaurants had been found to contain horse DNA.