Burger King pulls plug for good over 100pc beef contract
BURGER King has pulled the plug for good on its €30m relationship with the meat processing plant at the centre of the horse meat scandal after discovering traces of equine DNA in its burgers.
Supermarket giant Asda also cancelled its deal with Silvercrest yesterday after finding its burgers contained horse DNA, while Aldi UK suspended supplies from another plant in Britain also owned by Larry Goodman's ABP Food Group.
In a statement Burger King said last night it had concluded an investigation into its burger supplies from Silvercrest and discovered that four samples contained traces of horse DNA, though these had not gone on sale in 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 100pc British and Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them."
Burger King said it had confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier was the same one identified by the Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest's contamination.
Burger King had switched to an alternative burger supplier in Europe last week, but had been considering a possible return to Silvercrest until its own test results.
Following the loss of a €15m contract with Tesco and termination of contracts with Aldi, Asda and the Co-op supermarket chains, it now looks increasingly unlikely that the Silvercrest plant will reopen.
ABP declined to comment last night on the latest dramatic developments or on the plant's future.
British supermarket giant Asda said that it had carried out its own tests and discovered that four of its meat products manufactured at the Silvercrest plant in Co Monaghan contained trace element of horse DNA.
This was "equivalent to a grain of salt in a bag of crisps, most likely as a result of cross contamination" it said, adding that it was continuing its investigation.
Aldi UK meanwhile said it had found 0.1pc horse and 0.1pc pork DNA in premium frozen burgers sourced from ABP's Dalepak plant in Britain.
"Aldi UK has suspended its contract with Dalepak to supply beefburgers and is conducting further investigations," it said.
Aldi Ireland had already terminated its contract with the ABP plant in Silvercrest after the discovery of horse DNA in what was supposed to be "100pc Irish beef".