Birds Eye Chilli Con Carne sold in Belgium tests positive for horse DNA

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After discovering a Chilli Con Carne product sold in Belgium contained 2% horse DNA, Birds Eye is withdrawing all other products made by the same supplier from sale here as "a precautionary measure".



22 February 2013

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Birds EyeBirds Eye is withdrawing three products from sale in the UK and Ireland as "a precautionary measure" after finding that a product made by the same supplier and sold in Belgium tested positive for horse DNA.

The three products being withdrawn here are Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g, Shepherd’s Pie 400g and Beef Lasagne 400g.

Birds Eye reassured customers that its tests showed Birds Eye Beef Burgers, Beef Pies and Beef platters do not contain horse DNA.

However the group found one product, Chilli Con Carne, produced for Birds Eye by Frigilunch N.V. and sold in Belgium, tested positive for horse DNA at 2%.

Birds Eye said that while this is not a food safety issue, it is clearly unacceptable, and it was subsequently "immediately withdrawing" this product from sale in Belgium.

Since the first discovery of horsemeat in some beef products produced by a number of manufactures and retailers, Iglo Foods Group, the parent company of Birds Eye, said it has "been checking the integrity of all our own beef products."

"We aim to uphold the highest standards of food production and labelling and the reliability of our supply chain is fundamental in delivering this," the company said in a press statement. "We therefore immediately initiated a Europe-wide testing programme for horse DNA and completed audits of all our suppliers. We have now conducted tests on all of our beef products.

"As a precautionary measure, we will withdraw all other beef products produced for us by Frigilunch N. V.

"The withdrawn products will not be replaced on supermarkets shelves until we have finished our investigations and have complete confidence in this supplier."

Birds Eye said it will give consumers who bought any of these products a full refund, apologised to customers and reassured them that they would be kept "fully informed."

"We have now introduced an on-going DNA testing programme and we have enhanced our normal quality assurance procedures. This will help us ensure that we continue to reach the standards that all our consumers expect from our products," the company added.




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