The supermarket and others including Lidl, Aldi and Iceland have pulled stock from products which came from the offending suppliers after Food Safety Authority of Ireland scientists found gee-gee DNA in them.
Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the FSAI, where the products came from, said while there wasn’t a health risk in eating horse meat, the was no reason for it to be in beef products.
“The products we have identified as containing horse DNA and/or pig DNA do not pose any food safety risk and consumers should not be worried,” he said.
In one FSAI test they found Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers to have about 29% horse meat relative to beef content.
“Whilst there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horse meat in their production process,” Prof Reilly said.
“In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horse meat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger.”
The offending beef burger products are reported to be from Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton from the UK.
Silvercrest has said it is pulling its products from sale and replacing them with new lines.
The FSAI said it tested 27 beef burger products with use by or best before dates between June and March 2014.
They said ten of the products tested positive for horse DNA.
They released a list of the products containing horse meat:
Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers 29.1 per cent; Tesco Beef Quarter Pounders 0.1 per cent; Oakhurst Beef Burgers in Aldi 0.3 per cent; Moordale Quarter Pounders in Lidl 0.1 per cent; Flamehouse Chargrilled Quarter Pounders in Dunnes Stores 0.1 per cent; two varieties of Iceland Quarter Pounders 0.1 per cent.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We are working with the authorities in Ireland and the UK, and with the supplier concerned, to urgently understand how this has happened and how to ensure it does not happen again.”
Aldi said they’re doing their own investigation: “We have sought information from one supplier, Silvercrest, which is dealing directly with the FSAI on the issue that has been raised.”
Lidl has pulled all products related to the findings from shelves and offering money back to customers: “A refund will be provided to customers who wish to return affected products.”
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