LONDON Jan 30 Tesco, Britain's biggest
retailer, said on Wednesday it had dropped the Irish supplier of
frozen beef burgers that sparked a scandal by testing positive
for horse DNA.
Tesco said it would not take any more products from
Silvercrest, a unit of ABP Food Group, and said it would now
introduce a comprehensive system of DNA testing across its meat
There was no immediate response for a request for comment
The retailer said its investigation concluded that
Silvercrest used meat in Tesco products that did not come from a
list of approved suppliers it gave the firm, nor was the meat
from the UK or Ireland, despite an instruction that only beef
from the UK and Ireland should be used in Tesco frozen beef
"Consequently we have decided not to take products from that
supplier in future," said Tim Smith, Tesco's group technical
director. "We took that decision with regret but the breach of
trust is simply too great."
Ireland's agriculture department said on Saturday that beef
containing horse DNA supplied by Silvercrest to retailers had
originated in Poland.
After that statement ABP said it had never knowingly sold
The issue around food products first appeared on Jan. 15
when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said it had
found horse DNA in beef burger products sold by Tesco in the UK
The FSAI said beef burgers sold at Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi
and Iceland were also discovered to contain horse DNA.
It said most of the affected burgers contained very low
levels of horse DNA, but in one Tesco sample horse meat
accounted for about 29 percent relative to the beef content.