Paragon Quality foods have released a statement after it was found some of the
beefburgers they supplied to a chain of hotels have been found to contain horse meat. It reads as follows:
"Paragon Quality foods only buys beef from licensed and approved EU suppliers.
Since the outbreak of the “horse meat scandal” in the European supply chain, we have carried out extensive testing for equine in our burgers all of which were clear to date, with the exception one product, which is still being investigated.
Independently a number of our customers in the UK and Europe have also tested our products and to date all results were clear.
Paragon have never knowingly bought or handled equine meat products. All our records are available for scrutiny to our customers and FSA officials."
This is a supply chain problem across Europe due to the adulteration of raw material by criminal elements. As a key beef burger manufacturer the integrity of our product is paramount. We have therefore decided to implement an industry leading system of positive release of all products as from Monday 18th February 2013.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson is to hold an emergency meeting today with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and retailers over the horsemeat scandal.
Frozen food company Findus UK apologised after tests found up to 100% horse meat in some of its beef lasagnes. Supermarket chain Aldi confirmed that two of its ready meal ranges produced by Comigel, the French supplier also used by Findus, were found to contain between 30% and 100% horse meat.
It comes after a firm in Hull admitted it is being investigated. Flexi Foods, based at this enterprise centre in Hull, supplied a batch of meat that tested positive for horse to Macadam Foods in Ireland.
The British Meat Producers Association says it "deplores" the latest reported incidents of gross contamination of some meat products.
A Dalepak factory in North Yorkshire was implicated in the horse meat in beefburgers scandal last week.
The BMPA deplores the latest reported incidents of gross contamination of some processed meat products.
We are advised there are no food safety risks involved in the latest incidents.
It is important to distinguish between gross adulteration of products - which may involve illegal behaviour - and incidents where very powerful DNA tests detect low trace levels of unwanted and unintended material.
The BMPA is co-operating with the FSA to establish the facts, and to deal effectively with the issues.
The BMPA has urged its members to be vigilant, and to review their raw material and ingredients sourcing procedures in order to ensure that they meet their responsibilities."