Tesco lays blame at Silvercrest’s door over burger scandal

Tesco lays blame at Silvercrest’s door over burger scandal

Tesco has dropped Silvercrest as its burger supplier and laid the blame for the contamination of horsemeat in its burgers purely on its supplier. The supermarket has said Silvercrest failed to use “approved suppliers” from inside the UK and Ireland, which it claims was outside of its required specifications.

Tesco’s group technical director and former chief of the Food Standards Authority told MPs yesterday: “We’ve learnt our lesson and we’ve taken action to solve the problem.” The supermarket also said it would be introducing, with immediate effect, DNA testing on all its meat products. Who would be paying for that and how it would work is yet to be made clear.

New FSA chief, Christine Brown, was forced to admit that horsemeat may have been in burgers: “For months, if not years.”

Paul Finnerty, group chief executive, ABP Food Group said: “We have learnt important lessons from this incident and we are determined to ensure that this never happens again.”

In a statement ABP said it understood Tesco’s decision to stop sourcing from Silvercrest Foods but also welcomed its decision to continue sourcing fresh beef from other ABP companies.

As Meat Management reported earlier in the week ABP Food Group was swift to respond to the findings of the Irish investigations, appointing a new management team at the Silvercrest facility and has undetaken a Group reorganisation.

The responsibility for the Silvercrest business has transferred to ABP Ireland (the Irish chilled beef division). The sister business in the UK, Dalepak Foods, will come under the immediate control of ABP UK (the UK chilled beef business).

The Group will be independently auditing all its third party suppliers and ABP has already started to implement a new DNA testing regime over and above any legal requirements. This DNA testing (including equine) will be in addition to its current comprehensive testing regime, which the company carries out for food safety requirements.

Curiously the specific source in Poland has still not been identified and the fate of the Silvercrest plant in Ireland not yet clear.

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