Do you know what's in your burger? Burger King wants to make sure they do, after one of their food processing companies reportedly sold horse meat to another retailer.
Burger King said they've severed all ties with Silvercrest Foods, who allegedly sold the horse meat to retailer, Tesco. Burger King said although the horse meat was not sold to them specifically, the sale violates their health policies. Silvercrest allegedly used horse meat from a non-approved supplier in Poland, instead of the 100% British and Irish beef patties they were supposed to provide.
Burger King also said the horse meat was never sold in their restaurants, but they're still doing DNA testing on their meat to be sure. The fast food chain also released this full statement on the issue:
We know there has been concern regarding one of our former suppliers, Silvercrest Foods, and we want to thank our guests for their patience and understanding while we completed our investigation.
You wanted answers and so did we.
Earlier this month, we were notified that Silvercrest was under investigation for potential contamination of some retail products. At that time, they were approved to supply 100% Irish and British beef patties for BURGER KING(R) restaurants in the UK, Ireland and Denmark.
Despite assurances from them that our products were not implicated, we immediately launched our own internal investigation, which included scientific testing, inspection of the Silvercrest facility and scrutiny of traceability records.
As we confirmed on 23rd of January, we transitioned all of our restaurants in the UK, Ireland and Denmark to other BURGER KING(R) approved suppliers from Germany and Italy as a precaution. These suppliers have provided DNA evidence to confirm their products are free of equine DNA. These are the product being sold in our restaurants today.
Following the conclusion of our investigation:
Our independent DNA tests results on product taken from BURGER KING(R) restaurants were negative for any equine DNA. However, four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA. This product was never sold to our restaurants.
Within the last 36 hours, we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland. They promised to deliver 100% British & Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them.
Through our investigation, we have confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier is the same company identified by the Irish Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest’s contamination issue.
Diego Beamonte, vice president, Global Quality, Burger King Corporation, said, “While the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has stated that this is not a food safety issue, we are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100% beef burgers. Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.
“We will dedicate ourselves to determining what lessons can be learned and what additional measures, including DNA testing and enhanced traceability controls, can be taken to ensure that we continue to provide you with the quality products you expect from us.”
We remain committed to identifying suppliers that can produce 100% pure Irish and British beef products for us that meet our high quality standards.