Tesco releases statement about beef supplier

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Tesco has released a statement about how it plans to address the horse meat scandal by ending its relationship with Silvercrest Foods and how it plans to convince its customers that its meat products will be stringently tested going forward



30 January 2013

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TescoTesco statement on investigation into meat contamination

Tim Smith, group technical director, comments:

"Two weeks ago, on 16 January, we issued an unreserved apology to our
customers because tests in Ireland found horse DNA in three Tesco frozen beef
burger lines.

"We made a commitment to customers to investigate thoroughly and share the
findings with them. Since then, we have been working hard to understand what
happened and how we can stop it ever happening again.

"We now understand – with as much certainty as possible – what happened.
The evidence tells us that our frozen burger supplier, Silvercrest, used meat
in our products that did not come from the list of approved suppliers we gave
them. Nor was the meat from the UK or Ireland, despite our instruction that
only beef from the UK and Ireland should be used in our frozen beef burgers.
Consequently we have decided not to take products from that supplier in future.
We took that decision with regret but the breach of trust is simply too great.

"Ultimately Tesco is responsible for the food we sell, so it is not enough
just to stop using the supplier.

"We have a well-equipped, expert technical team and world-class checks in
place but we will not take anything for granted after this incident.

"It has shown that, in spite of our stringent tests, checks and controls
there remained a small possibility that something could go wrong and it did. We
want to stop it ever happening again, so we are taking action to reduce that
possibility still further.

"To underpin the strong measures already in place, we will now introduce a
comprehensive system of DNA testing across our meat products. This will
identify any deviation from our high standards.

"These checks will set a new standard. It will be a significant investment
for Tesco, borne by Tesco. We want to leave customers in no doubt that we will
do whatever it takes to ensure the quality of their food and that the food they
buy is exactly what the label says it is."



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