Burger King will be dropping a contract with a firm that provides beef with traces of horse meat, reports say.According to the Christian Science Monitor, they will be ending their collaboration with Silvercrest Foods, owned by ABP Food Group, over their meat not being 100 % beef.
"This is not a food safety issue," Burger King reps announced in a statement on Thursday, January 24. The decision is based on the UK market traditionally rejecting the consumption of horse meat.
The supplier has already had to pull out products from England and Ireland stores, due to an expose over their meat containing horse DNA. 10 million burgers have been withdrawn from UK supermarkets.
This "may mean that some of our products are temporarily unavailable," the fast food chain announced, reiterating that their products did not constitute a health hazard. It was simply a "voluntary and precautionary measure," they told the press.
Supermarket chain Tesco, operating in Great Britain, is also in hot water over ingredients used to make one of their low-priced house brand burgers. An inquiry revealed that the hamburgers were being produced with 29 percent meat coming from horses.
Mary Creagh, spokeswoman for Britain's opposition Labour Party on environmental issues, revealed that phenylbutazone was encountered in the meat of horses slaughtered in the UK.
The anti-inflammatory drug administered to horses has been linked to the formation of cancerous cells in humans.
"It is possible that those animals entered the human food chain," Creagh states.
In the case of Burger King, tests came back negative for phenylbutazone, according to the FSA. The Food Standards Agency explains that none of the contaminated meat was used or sold in Britain, it was all exported.
They admit to being aware of the problem, but stress that the proper authorities were alerted to the situation upon export.