The Irish company at the centre of the horse burger scandal has apologised as workers fear for their jobs after the loss of another multi-million dollar contract.
British retail giants Tesco and the Co-Operative have followed German retailer Aldi in cancelling all deals with Monaghan based manufacturer Silvercrest.
Tesco announced the end of their deal with the company controlled by Irish beef baron Larry Goodman in a statement which accused Silvercrest of a ‘breach of trust’.
The supermarket owner had issued a public apology after tests found equine traces in beef products.
The UK retailer says it will now introduce a new DNA testing system designed to detect any ‘deviation from our high standards’.
The Irish Sun newspaper reports that Tesco has accepted responsibility for the fiasco but appeared to blame its Irish supplier Silvercrest.
It said Silvercrest failed to comply with company policy, sourcing meat from abroad.
Tesco technical director Tim Smith said: “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 beefburgers.
“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.”
Tesco took some 10 million burgers were taken off the shelves on January 16 after it emerged horse meat had found its way into stores in the UK and Ireland.
Up to 29 per cent horse DNA from Poland was found in some Irish burgers on Tesco’s shelves.
Britain’s Co-operative Group has also cancelled its contract for frozen beef burgers from Silvercrest.
A spokeswoman said: “Our decision to withdraw these products at the first opportunity and cease taking further product from this site has been proven correct.”
German giant Aldi said in a similar statement last night that it had ended its contract ‘due to a serious breach of contract by Silvercrest in relation to the agreed product specification’.
The ABP Food Group which owns Silvercrest has apologised for its actions as over a hundred staff fear for their future.
The ABP group statement said: “We understand Tesco’s decision to stop sourcing from Silvercrest Foods but also welcome their decision to continue sourcing fresh beef from other ABP companies.
“The ABP Food Group has developed a very strong business, based on trust. We have let our customers down. We apologise for this."
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