Burgers 'withdrawn' in horsemeat scandal still on sale

Silvercrest Foods

The BBC claims that a brand of burgers, which were meant to have been withdrawn after the horsemeat scandal broke, were found on sale in Tesco in Oxford. The beef quarter pounders, from the 'Free From' range, were removed from the supermarket's freezers as a precaution after the scandal - although no horsemeat was found in the brand itself.

However, a BBC reporter managed to buy some from a branch in Cowley.

When the reporter took the burgers to a self-service checkout, the till came up with a warning that the brand had been withdrawn. However, a member of staff over-rode the warning and allowed the reporter to leave with the burgers.


The horsemeat scandal broke earlier this month, when an investigation by the Republic of Ireland's food safety authority found that horse DNA was contained in samples of beef burgers being sold in supermarkets in the UK and Ireland. It found 29% horsemeat in one Tesco burger and traces in another. It also found contaminated burgers from Iceland, Lidl, and Aldi (although the Aldi burgers are not sold in the UK).

Tesco said at the time that the affected lines were Tesco Everyday Value 8 x Frozen Beef Burgers, Tesco 4 x Frozen Beef Quarter Pounders (454g) and Flamehouse Frozen Chargrilled Quarter Pounders. It also withdraw a number of other products purely as a precaution, including the 'Free From' quarter pounders bought by the reporter.

It tried to undo some of the damage by printing full page adverts in a number of newspapers, saying: "We and our supplier have let you down and we apologise. So here's our promise. We will find out exactly what happened and, when we do, we'll come back and tell you. And we will work harder than ever with all our suppliers to make sure this never happens again."

It added that it had "immediately withdrawn from sale all products from the supplier in question".

The discovery that this withdrawal hasn't gone to plan will be a major embarrassment for Tesco.

Other withdrawals

A number of other supermarkets have also withdrawn burgers made from unaffected lines at plant where the horsemeat was found (pictured), and at other plants owned by the same business.

Waitrose did so today as a precaution, despite having visited the factory and being satisfied that its products were not contaminated. In a statement it said it was 100% confident that its burgers were 100% beef, but was taking the precaution.

Burger King has also announced today that it will no longer be using burgers from the affected supplier - Silvercrest.

In all, over 10 million burgers have been taken off the shelves. The ones bought by the BBC, it seems, slipped through the net.

Tesco told the BBC: " We are urgently investigating how this product came to be on a shelf in store. The block on purchase at the checkout should not have been overridden. We sincerely apologise for this, and we have spoken to the store to ensure that this does not happen again."
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