Aldi UK has suspended its burger contract with ABP Food Group’s Dalepak site following new test results that revealed horse DNA in its burgers.
Aldi said it had commissioned independent DNA tests in the wake of the horse meat revelations through the Food Safety Authority of Ireland earlier this month, and immediately removed from sale all three products under suspicion as a precautionary measure.
It said it had since DNA-tested three random samples of the three burger products made at Dalepak, and found 0.1% of horse DNA each in Oakhurst Beef Quarter Pounders and Frozen Oakhurst Beefburgers as well as 0.1% pork DNA in its Specially Selected Aberdeen Angus Quarter Pounders.
“While these traces are at the lowest forensically detectable level through DNA-testing, they do corroborate ALDI UK’s decision to remove these products from sale,” the company said.
It added it had suspended its contract with Dalepak as a result and was now carrying out further investigations at the site.
Aldi UK said it was deeply angry and felt let down by Dalepak. “We are pursuing more tests until we are certain that we understand how the production line was contaminated,” it said in a statement.
Aldi UK’s suspension of the Dalepak contract comes after Aldi Ireland terminated its contract with ABP-owned Silvercrest in Ireland. It emerged yesterday that Tesco and The Co-operative Group have also terminated their contracts with Silvercrest.
Yesterday, Tesco publicly named and shamed Silvercrest, announcing that it had failed to follow Tesco instructions with regards to sourcing only UK and Irish meat from approved suppliers. “We took that decision with regret but the breach of trust is simply too great,” said Tim Smith, group technical director.
Asda has also found itself embroiled in the horse meat debacle after tests showed that four products manufactured by Silvercrest tested positive for trace elements of horse DNA. It has, however, downplayed the news, with a spokesman claiming the traces are “equivalent to a grain of salt in a bag of crisps.” He added that of a further 29 frozen meat products withdrawn from sale as a precaution when news of the horse meat investigation broke, none contained horse meat.