The impact of the horse meat scandal continues to widen, with Asda and The Co-operative Food confirming they have removed some of their beef burgers as a precautionary measure.
The Co-op said it had decided to pull two lines of frozen own-label beef burgers because they were supplied by ABP subsidiary Silvercrest Foods – one of the suppliers implicated in the horse meat scandal. The products in question are an eight-pack and a 16-pack of frozen burgers.
A spokeswoman for the Co-op told thegrocer.co.uk the measure was “purely a precaution” and that neither of the products had been implicated in the scandal itself. “However, we are taking this matter very seriously and, purely as a precaution, we are removing them from sale while tests are being conducted to ensure they have been produced to our strict specifications,” she added.
Similarly, Asda has been reported as pulling nine beef burger products as a precaution. The products were also supplied by Silvercrest.
One Silvercrest frozen burger supplied into Tesco’s Everyday Value range was found by the Food Standards Agency of Ireland to contain 29% horse meat. Although only two Tesco products tested positive for horse DNA in the FSAI survey, Tesco has withdrawn a total of 26 lines as a precaution, while investigations continue.
Horse DNA was also detected in beef burgers sold by Iceland, Aldi and Lidl and Dunnes Stores, supplied by Silvercrest, Dakepak Foods and Liffey Meats.
All three suppliers have launched investigations and have suggested imported third-party products – likely from Continental Europe – are responsible for the contamination.