Catering company withdraws Rangeland burgers from 40 Irish sites15/02/2013 - 17:49:09
Catering company Compass said today that Irish sites where it operates had been supplied with burgers from Rangeland - an Irish processor found to have had two consignments of meat with horse DNA.
Compass said that 13 sites in the Republic and 27 in the North, including two secondary schools, were supplied with burgers from Rangeland, the 4oz burgers which have been found to contain 5-30% horse DNA.
"Despite receiving written assurances from Rangeland Foods that none of the identified horse DNA had entered its production, we immediately took the precautionary measure of withdrawing this product and we stopped any further purchases," the company said.
"We subsequently carried out a DNA test on a sample of the withdrawn product, which identified a minor amount of horse DNA.
"This is totally unacceptable.
"We have informed all of the affected sites of these developments, explained the actions we have taken and issued unreserved apologies."
"We are deeply concerned by this finding and that, despite the written assurances we and our supplier received, we have had this breach of our supply chain. We are working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Food Standards Agency to establish the details of what happened and to ensure it doesn't happen again."
The company has catering operations at 7,000 sites across Ireland and the UK. It said most of the sites using Rangeland product were offices.
Earlier today, Rangeland issued a statement regarding the scandal.
It read: "In January 2013, Rangeland discovered equine DNA in a consignment of meat from Poland. This meat did not go into production. The product did not enter the food chain.
"On February 13, it was discovered that burgers that were produced by Rangeland in September 2012 for the UK market, to UK specification using EU beef from EU approved suppliers, had tested positive for equine DNA.
"This relates to a consignment of ‘UK BG Rangeburgers’, which were supplied to one of two UK customers, for the UK market in September 2012.
"Rangeland Foods has since taken the decision to withdraw all of their hitherto untested produce containing Polish-origin meat from the food chain, and that process is underway.
"On Thursday, February 7, following consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Rangeland Foods Ltd recommenced production at their Co Monaghan meat processing plant, on the basis that it was using only Irish raw materials.
"As of February 7, all produce manufactured by Rangeland use Irish-only meat and Rangeland has implemented a comprehensive DNA assessment of beef intake and products, and test every batch before release to the food chain, for any trace of equine DNA.
"Responsibility to the consumer for the safety and integrity of the food produced by Rangeland is central focus of its business."
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