UK supermarket Asda withdraws Greencore beef products

British supermarket chain Asda has withdrawn its 500g beef bolognese sauce from shelves after tests revealed the presence of horse DNA.

The company apologised to customers and said it was taking a “belt-and-braces approach” by removing a further three beef products made by the same supplier, Greencore, as a precaution.

Greencore said it was awaiting results of tests on sauce supplied to Asda to confirm the presence and extent of the equine DNA.

In a statement it said: “The sauce contained meat that was supplied to Greencore under contract by the ABP Food Group’s Nenagh plant in Co Tipperary, an approved and regularly audited supplier.

“The company is working closely with them to determine the full facts as we await the results of the further tests.”

It continued: “Greencore is committed to maintaining the highest standards of food safety and food traceability, and is therefore extremely concerned that the quality of one of its products may have been compromised in this way.

“The company is participating in full with the intensive industry testing programme to examine the full supply chain in order to restore consumer confidence.”

An Asda spokeswoman said: “As you’d expect we are withdrawing the Beef Bolognese sauce from our shelves.

“We are taking a belt-and-braces approach so, in addition, as a precaution we’re also withdrawing three other beef-based products produced by the same supplier.

“We have no positive test results for horse DNA in any of these products, but we feel it is the right thing to withdraw them anyway.

“We’re very sorry if this ongoing situation is causing our customers any upset or inconvenience. We, along with the rest of the industry, are working hard to ensure they can have complete confidence in the food they buy.”

Sainsbury’s and the UK Co-op confirmed tonight they were also supplied by Greencore.

Sainsbury’s said it was carrying out tests for the presence of horse DNA but added that Greencore used a different beef supplier for its products.

A spokeswoman said: “Greencore makes some of our pasta sauces, e.g. By Sainsbury’s Bolognese Sauce. “We are testing those that contain beef, however we know that our beef is from a different supplier to that used by Asda. Ours is from a British supplier, Asda’s is from southern Ireland.

“We have already carried out tests on a range of our beef products including burgers, ready meals and minced meat and no trace of horse DNA has been found in any of our products.”

The Co-op said Greencore supplies six pasta sauces to the company, but none of these include beef.

It will announce the results of testing on its beef products tomorrow morning, a spokeswoman added.

The three products withdrawn by Asda as a precaution are the 600g Beef Broth Soup, the 500g Meat Feast Pasta Sauce and the 400g Chilli Con Carne Soup.

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