Suppliers caught in horsemeat row
26 February, 2013
Major suppliers including Sodexo have become the latest victims of the continuing crisis over horsemeat contamination of beef products.
Sodexo has pulled all frozen beef products from sale after tests revealed traces of equine DNS. It said in a statement: “Despite repeated guarantees from our suppliers, our sampling has identified frozen beef products which tested positive for equine DNA. This situation is totally unacceptable. We felt the only appropriate response was to withdraw not only this product but all frozen beef products. We will only re-admit into our catering operations products that have affirmatively passed DNA testing, pursuant to laboratory test criteria… Food safety, traceability and quality remain the top priority for Sodexo and this is why we have taken these steps.”
The Burger Manufacturing Company has also withdrawn some products from sale. It has attributed the contamination to Farmbox Meats, a company that was raided by the Food Standards Agency over the crisis. It too apologized for the situation and said it was investigating as an urgent priority.
The moves will add to the alarm for operators who have been awaiting the impact of the horsemeat crisis on their businesses. As Peach Report has reported, firms including Whitbread have been forced to pull products from sale.
But there is some evidence that the crisis may have peaked, with the most recent tests from the Food Standards Agency revealing negative results in more than 99% of cases. FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: 'The overwhelming majority of results… have come back negative for the presence of horse DNA above the threshold of 1%—which is reassuring for consumers. However, our work is far from done… We are determined to get to the bottom of this to find out exactly what happened—and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
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