Horsemeat scandal sees ABP lose Burger King contract

In the latest twist in the horsemeat burger scandal, fast-food chain Burger King has confirmed it has dropped ABP as a supplier for its restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

The company said that it would be replacing all products from ABP subsidiary Silvercrest Foods – one of the plants at the centre of the scandal – with products from alternative suppliers as a “voluntary and precautionary” measure.

It said it was currently working to identify suppliers that would be able to produce 100% Irish and British beef products to its “high standards”, and that some products might be “temporarily unavailable”.

“We apologise to our guests for any inconvenience. However, we want to let them know that they can trust us to serve only the highest-quality products,” said a spokesperson.

A statement from ABP on the decision said: “The company stated earlier this week that it is concentrating its efforts on its internal investigations and it remains entirely focussed on that task.  It has previously stated that it is not commenting further, pending the conclusion of those investigations.”

The Silvercrest plant in Co Monaghan, Ireland was one of three processors implicated in the scandal, which emerged after the Food Standards Agency revealed that burgers on sale in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland had tested positive for horse DNA.

ABP suspended production at the plant last week after further testing on its burgers returned positive results for horse DNA. However, the company insisted at the time that products supplied to Burger King were stored separately and manufactured on an independent line. “There is no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any Burger King products,” it said in a statement.

Investigations into the contamination are ongoing, with the finger of blame currently pointed at third-party suppliers in Europe.