Waitrose to create own frozen meat facility
Published:  13 February, 2013

In a bid to stop cross-meat contamination affecting its products, Waitrose has announced it will be building its own UK facility to produce a range of frozen meat products.

The new unit, which is planned to be open within the next three months, will be based at Dovecote Park’s facility in Yorkshire. Dovecote Park is the dedicated beef supplier to Waitrose and has been “exclusively supplying Waitrose since 1997 with high-quality fresh beef products, including fresh burgers, steaks and joints”, said Waitrose.

Waitrose added that all of the beef processed by Dovecote Park is sourced from a known and trusted group of British farmers and none of the beef is bought on the open market.

In a statement about the discovery of pork DNA in some of its beef products, Waitrose explained that it had taken the precautionary measure of removing two frozen meat products, beefburgers and meatballs – not produced by Dovecote Park – from its branches.

The retailer added: “The frozen beef burgers were put back on sale after tests confirmed the meat in the product was 100% beef. More recently, one test on frozen meatballs showed the meat in them was, as it should be, 100% beef. However, another test indicated there may be some pork in some of the meatballs and the product was therefore taken off sale. Neither frozen beefburgers nor frozen meatballs tested positive for horsemeat.”

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “Our customers rightly expect the highest standards of product quality and integrity from us and we won’t let anything stand in the way of delivering this.

“Dovecote Park is a dedicated supplier to Waitrose. They share our values and our commitment to British farming, so extending our joint activities into a range of frozen meat products is a tremendously positive move.”