Food wholesalers up the ante

Following the recent negative publicity around horsement in processed foods, particularly burgers and ready made beef dishes, food wholesalers have been quick to reassure the licensed trade that they are on the case. A Booker spokesperson said, “Booker takes the quality and safety of our products very seriously. Our own-label products are not supplied by any of the companies affected by the horsemeat contamination, however we are engaged with our suppliers regarding these issues. While a 3663 spokesperson commented, “As a major national distributor of both branded and own label to the catering and hospitality industry, 3663 makes it clear to every supplier that products supplied should only include declared ingredients. Having already conducted extensive checks across its range and its suppliers, 3663 can assure the catering and hospitality industry that the company does not have any direct links with the sources mentioned in the media for the presence of horsemeat in the food chain and to date all of the tests 3663 has carried out for the presence of horsemeat have proved to be negative.”
Dunns Food and Drinks also commented on the issue. Jim Rowan, Managing Director commented, “While we sell a small amount of processed foods, including ready made meals, we have been assured by our suppliers that their products have been tested and have been given
the all clear. We also sell a substantial amount of beef products and we can also confirm that they are clear. We will continue to be vigilant in this area.’’
Brakes, who were implicated after horse DNA was found in burgers at Whitbread outlets,one of their customers, and at a Scottish school, told DRAM, “Every week more than 19,000 customers buy around 48,000 cases of products containing beef from Brakes.” The company continued, “On 21st February we were informed by the Food Standards Agency that a frozen beef burger had tested positive for horse DNA following a sample taken from a local authority school in Scotland. Before this incident, Brakes has already received negative test results on all 127 beef products supplied to that customer. In addition, Brakes had received 32 negative tests results on products that we buy from the same supplier and they, in turn, had 28 negative tests on finished products and raw material they handle. We have a duty of care to all our customers. Until we are able to ascertain the facts, we have placed the beef burger on hold as a precaution. All customers are currently being contacted to ensure they hold the product in a segregated area while we, and the Food Standards Agency, continue investigations. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Category: News