Meat plant loses €50m in cancelled deals
on 01/02/2013 00:00:00
Burger King had already sought alternative suppliers while it carried out its own investigations in the horse DNA scandal.
Burger King's vice-president responsible for global quality Diego Beamonte said it was not a safety issue but it was not acceptable.
"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," he said.
Burger King said tests on meat in its outlets did not return traces of horse DNA but four samples from the Silvercrest plant did.
It said it would be taking product from Germany and Italy in the interim but would look for a local supplier to serve its British, Irish, and Danish market.
In an updated statement, Burger King said it had traced horse DNA to a non-approved supplier which Silvercrest had used.
It is believed to be the same company in Poland deemed responsible for the product found in Silvercrest's frozen burgers.
The decision by Burger King has compounded fears for 112 jobs at Silvercrest.
These were raised this week when its largest buyer, Tesco, pulled the plug on its contract. Tesco said there had been a breach of trust.
A number of other key retailers followed suit.
Aldi removed Silvercrest from its supply chain. It said it had assurances that the burgers it was supplied with would contain 100% Irish beef but that this was not the case. Aldi called it a "serious breach of contract by Silvercrest".
Asda confirmed that miniscule traces of horse DNA had been found in supplies drawn from Silvercrest and it decided to stop taking its product.
This happened after the Co-operative Group in Britain said independent tests it carried out showed up to 17% of horse DNA in Silvercrest product. It has cancelled its contract with the Monaghan company.
The plant has been shut since the results of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland DNA testing were released and a new management team has been put in place.
The Unite trade union has sought a meeting with management to discuss the future of workers at the plant.
The move by Burger King came as the Polish official examining its country's link to the scandal said there was, as yet, no proof the horse meat concerned had originated at one of its plants.
Jaroslaw Naze, the deputy head of Poland's General Veterinary Inspectorate, said there had as yet been no conclusive results to support the claim it was the source of the horse meat.