Investigations Crucial For Future Safety As Horse Meat Found In Burgers

Supermarket Chains Had Beef Burgers Containing Horse And Pig Dna On Sale In UK And Ireland

16.01.2013

Food standards agencies have confirmed that several supermarket chains across the UK and Republic of Ireland have been selling beef burgers contaminated with horsemeat and pig DNA.

In England, Tesco and Iceland are known to have stocked the products while Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi have been named as supermarkets selling the offending meat which the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) say came from Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods factories in Ireland and the Dalepak plant in Yorkshire.

A total of 10 out of 27 products analysed contained traces of horse DNA and pig DNA was found in 23 burgers. The products have now been taken off the shelves and the companies involved are working with the authorities to investigate.

The FSAI also said there was no human health risk but lawyers say that it is now crucial that investigations into how the incident occurred are carried out as soon as possible.

David Urpeth, a specialist public liability lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “In the modern era when we all rely so heavily on supermarkets for our everyday food items, this is a major blow to their integrity and raises many important questions. We welcome the prompt calls for investigations from the stores themselves and it is imperative that we find out what went wrong here to prevent further incidents in future.

“It’s not until an investigation of the whole supply chain is complete that we can completely rule out any safety issues as it needs clarifying how the contaminated meat was able to become mixed with the beef.

"There are also some religions which do not eat meat from pigs, so for them to find out that another meat has been contaminated with pig DNA is totally unacceptable.”