Tuesday 23 January 2018

Supermac's: We are not affected by burger recall

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

FAST-food chain Supermac's has said that burgers supplied to it by Rangeland were not affected by a recall today.

It comes as the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said it has been notified by the Co Monaghan company Rangeland Foods that UK tests showed some batches of its burgers tested positive for between 5pc and 30pc horsemeat.

The company is withdrawing batches of burgers sold to the catering and wholesale sectors in Ireland, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

However, Supermacs owner Pat McDonagh said its burgers from Rangeland were produced with 100pc Irish beef.

"The issue which has arisen today bears absolutely no relevance to Supermac's meat products which are 100pc Irish," he said.

They had carried out their own tests to verify the product was pure Irish beef, as well as receiving written and laboratory confirmation from Rangeland, he said.

The FSAI said it is issuing a food alert for Ireland and will notify the European Commission via its Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed about the exported product.

"The FSAI will continue to work with Rangeland Foods to ensure that all implicated product is removed from the market," it said.

Suppliers who had traded the affected products onwards to other food businesses were compelled under existing food protocols to notify their customers to ensure a swift withdrawal across the market.

An imported meat ingredient containing 75pc horsemeat was previously discovered at the Rangeland plant by the Department of Agriculture, but the company said none of this had been used in production, and it was allowed resume production last week.

Rangeland Foods said in a statement today that it had contacted a number of its customers to alert them to the fact that burgers that were produced by Rangeland in September 2012 for the export market, "may contain traces of equine DNA as they were produced with meat of Polish origin".

"Rangeland Foods chose to alert their customers yesterday that burgers produced in September 2012 had tested positive for equine DNA in a small number of cases.

"The burger product was specifically produced for the UK market and was made to a specification for EU beef from EU approved suppliers."

"Rangeland Foods has since taken the decision to withdraw all of their hitherto untested produce made from meat of Polish origin from the food chain, and that process is underway," it said.

Rangeland is a specialist burger company in Castleblaney Co Monaghan which supplies restaurants and catering outlets and it has an annual turnover of around €20m employing around 75 people.

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