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Friday 29 August 2014

Horsemeat issue sees Burger King drop Irish supplier

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 23/01/2013 | 15:52

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CHICAGO - AUGUST 24: A sign hangs outside a Burger King restaurant on August 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Burger King Holdings Inc., the No. 2 U.S. burger chain, reported its fourth-quarter net income fell nearly 17 percent following weak sales and increased costs for ingredients and packaging. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BURGER King is no longer sourcing burgers from the Irish company at the centre of the horsemeat scandal.

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The global fastfood giant Burger King confirmed today it has switched to an alternative supplier for its Irish and British restaurants because ABP's Silvercrest plant is under investigation for contamination of supermarket burgers with horsemeat.

Silvercrest in Co Monaghan is a burger-making subsidiary of beef tycoon Larry Goodman's ABP Food Group which has meat processing plants throughout Ireland, Britain and Europe.

Burger King said in a statement today that food safety was a top priority for its restaurants globally.

"As a precaution this past weekend we decided to replace all Silvercrest products in the UK & Ireland with products from another approved Burger King supplier. This is a voluntary and precautionary measure," a statement said.

"We are working diligently to identify suppliers that can produce 100pc pure Irish and British beef products that meet our high quality standards."

"Unfortunately this may mean that some of our products are temporarily unavailable. We apologise to our guests for any inconvenience."

"However we want to let them know that they can trust us to serve only the highest quality products."

Burger King added it took this matter seriously and would continue their investigations to determine how this situation arose and what lessons could be learned.

Burger King's decision to switch supplier is the first major tangible blow to the Irish food industry as a result of the discovery of horsemeat in supermarket burgers last week.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland discovered horse DNA in a number of supermarket burgers, including a Tesco burger supplied by ABP's Silvercrest plant in Co Monaghan which had a meat content of 29pc horsemeat.

The Department of Agriculture has carried out further tests confirming the continued presence of horse DNA in Silvercrest burgers last week, and is awaiting results which will indicate the exact proportion of horsemeat involved.

ABP this evening declined to comment on Burger King's decision to use another supplier.

"The company stated earlier this week that it is concentrating its efforts on its internal investigations and it remains entirely focussed on that task. It has previously stated that it is not commenting further, pending the conclusion of those investigations" a statement said.

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