The supermarket said that its own DNA tests and those carried out by environmental health officers on the four burger products supplied by the plant had come back “free of any trace of horse meat”.
However, it added: “Although all the science says there’s no trace of horse meat in the burgers produced for Asda, we can’t and won’t take any chances when it comes to the authenticity of ingredients in our products – so as a precaution we’ve taken all four frozen burger products off sale.”
“We have instructed Freeza Meats to segregate and hold any frozen burgers currently in production or in their supply chain destined for Asda. These four products will remain withdrawn from sale until further notice.”
Freeza Meats claimed yesterday that it did not own the contaminated meat, but was storing it for Irish meat trader McAdam Foods Services.
The company said McAdam had approached it last year asking if it wanted to buy “a parcel of raw material”. It declined, but agreed to store the meat in its cold store as a gesture of good will.
It said that the meat had at no point come into contact with its own production line, and that DNA testing on its burgers and finished products had come back negative for hose meat.