Horsemeat found in high street burgers

21 February, 2013

The meat industry has been hit by further burger recalls following the discovery of more horse meat in products from a mid-Wales based catering supplier.

Nine samples of beef burger products from the Burger Manufacturing Company (BMC) were tested by Powys County Council, as requested by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), of which three were found to contain horse meat.

The company is supplied by Aberyswyth-based Farmbox Meats, which was raided by police and the FSA last week due to the horse meat scandal.

Based in Builth Wells, Wales, the BMC has withdrawn the beef burgers in question and is contacting customers to inform them about the contamination and to recall affected products.

According to BMC’s website, the company supplies all types of cafes, restaurants, hotels and leisure outlets with a wide range of burgers, with its largest customer being Sparks Catering Butchers Ltd.

It is not yet established how severe the contamination is, however the beef burgers are now being tested for the veterinary drug bute that can cause serious blood disorders in human beings.

Director of BMC, John Sparks, confirmed that traces of horse meat has been found in its beef burgers. He stated: "Following a thorough investigation, we are confident that the meat can be traced back to our supply from Farmbox Meats Ltd.  With immediate effect, we stopped using the supply to ensure that it did not enter any other products."

Sparks claimed that the contamination is "an isolated incident" and that its products are rigorously tested.

"We pride ourselves on using quality meat from, where possible, locally sourced suppliers. Our decision to use Farmbox Meats Ltd was to help boost local businesses, and because of our belief in the quality of their meat. It is disappointing that on this occasion the high standards we expect have not been met.

"We will be working rigorously to ensure that such instances do not happen again and we are now putting in place continued DNA testing across our products," he added.

The FSA stated: “Further work is being carried out to establish exactly how much horse meat these products contain and to test for the presence of the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone, or bute.”





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