Burger King the latest to be tainted by horsemeat scandal

LONDON: Burger King has revealed that some of its burgers were contaminated in the horsemeat scandal, as Europe's tainted food crisis threatened to undermine consumer confidence and retailers tried to protect their reputations.

The fast food company, whose products were not tested in the food standards checks by Irish authorities that sparked the furore last month, moved production from the Silvercrest plant in Ireland to Germany and Italy as a precaution. On Thursday night it said test results at the plant revealed ''very small trace levels'' of horse DNA in its products, but burgers taken from restaurants had tested negative.

A supplier used by Silvercrest for a year is thought be the source of the contamination. Authorities insist there is no health danger to consumers.

Aldi UK became the first major retailer to suspend its contract with a British plant, Dalepak Hambleton in North Yorkshire, which, like Silvercrest, is part of the ABP Food Group, pending further investigations into why three of nine newly tested burger samples had traces of horse and pork DNA. The products were from stock withdrawn in recent weeks but made since October, the company said.

Aldi in Ireland has terminated its contract with the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan from which Burger King, Tesco, the Co-op and Asda have all pulled out.

Diego Beamonte, vice-president for global quality at Burger King Corporation, said the company was ''deeply troubled'' by the findings. He apologised to customers.

Silvercrest, one of the biggest burger plants in Europe, is closed for cleaning and a change of management.

Guardian News & Media