By Laura Moulden
Tesco has issued an apology to their customers following the revelation that three beef burger products retailing in their stores were found to contain horsemeat.
The supermarket issued a statement condemning the “unacceptable” issue and promising to find out exactly how it was allowed to happen. In full page advertisements placed in a number of UK national newspapers, the supermarket said:
“While the FSAI has said that the products pose no risk to public health, we appreciate that, like us, our customers will find this absolutely unacceptable.
“So here’s our promise. We will find out exactly what happened and, when we do, we’ll come back and tell you.
“And we will work harder than ever with all our suppliers to make sure this never happens again.”
Yesterday (Wednesday, January 16th), The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued a report stating that in one beef burger sample from the supermarket, horsemeat accounted for approximately 29% relative to the beef content.
The offending burgers have been identified as Tesco Everyday Value 8 x Frozen Beef Burgers (397g), Tesco 4 x Frozen Beef Quarter Pounders (454g) and a branded product, Flamehouse Frozen Chargrilled Quarter Pounders.
All products were removed from the stores with immediate effect and customers have been invited to return any of the goods in question in exchange for a full refund.
The prime minister labelled the grim discovery as “extremely disturbing” and “completely unacceptable”, warning British retailers of their responsibility for the safety and standards of their food supply chain.
The same FSAI study also reported findings of pig DNA in a number of beef products. Given the strict dietary requirements of some members of the UK population, these results will pose a significant threat to consumer confidence.
Two processing plants in Ireland (Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods), and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire, have been identified as producers of the burgers, which retail in a number of other UK supermarkets including Aldi and Lidl.
Full investigations into the matter are being carried out by both the British and Irish governments.
Image used courtesy of JuliusKielaitis / Shutterstock.com