Pork concern forces Waitrose to withdraw meatballs

Waitrose has revealed that some of its own-brand meatballs, labelled as 100% beef, may contain pork.

Following media reports of horse-and pork-contaminated meat in late January, Waitrose pulled frozen packs of 16 meatballs from its shelves and then a second batch of meatballs were pulled at the beginning of February. Despite the supermarket chain pulling the products, which were part of its Essentials range, the company made no recall announcement until yesterday.

A Waitrose spokeswoman told MeatInfo.co.uk that the manufacturer of the meatballs carried out an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (Elisa) test on the meatballs, which showed negative results.

She added: “We also carried out an Elisa test on the same product and this indicated above-1% pork. In addition, we carried out a DNA test and this showed less than 30% pork.
 
In a statement, Waitrose said its frozen Essential Waitrose Meatballs – 16 British Beef Meatballs 480g – with best-before dates of June 2013 and August 2013, may contain some pork.
 
Waitrose said: “We have discovered that, in two batches of our frozen meatballs produced last summer, some of the meatballs may contain some pork. Several tests have been done on this product and, even though the results have been contradictory, we have taken the precautionary action of removing the frozen meatballs from sale and putting up customer information notices in all our branches.”

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