Waitrose has announced it will be building its own frozen meat factory.
The new unit will be located at the Yorkshire base of its fresh beef supplier Dovecote Park and will become operational in the next three months.
Waitrose said all the beef processed by Dovecote Park was sourced from a known and trusted group of British farmers. None was bought on the open market.
It added that the frozen meat products it had recalled as a precautionary measure, including the 480g packs of 16 Essential Waitrose British beef meatballs which were pulled last night because tests indicated they contained pork, were not produced by Dovecote Park.
“Our customers rightly expect the highest standards of product quality and integrity from us and we won’t let anything stand in the way of our delivering this,” said Waitrose MD Mark Price.
“Dovecote Park is a dedicated supplier to Waitrose. They share our values and our commitment to British farming so extending our joint activities into a range of frozen meat products is a tremendously positive move.”
Price wrote to Waitrose customers this morning to warn them that a test had indicated some pork was present in its essential Waitrose frozen meatballs. He said Waitrose would refund any of the 480g packs of British beef meatballs with best before dates of June 2013 and August 2013.
“I’m sure nothing is more important to you than the safety, quality and taste of the food you give your family and that is why I wanted to write to you directly in this way,” he said.