At first, Burger King adamantly denied that any of its burgers were tainted with horse DNA. But now the fast-food chain is admitting otherwise–sort of.
By now you’ve probably heard about the ongoing controversy about horse DNA being found in some beefburgers sold in Ireland and the U.K.; we wrote about it here a couple weeks ago.
Burger King came under fire after it was discovered that some of its burgers were from the same source, Silvercrest, as the contaminated burgers sold in supermarkets. Hoping to avoid embroilment in the scandal, Burger King immediately dropped the plant in question, which had been approved to supply burgers to its restaurants in Britain, Ireland and Denmark. (Good new for the U.S.: Stateside Burger King restaurants use a completely different supplier.)
After two weeks of denying that its burgers contained horsemeat, Burger King released this statement yesterday: “Our independent DNA test results on product taken from restaurants were negative for any equine DNA. However, four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA. This product was never sold to our restaurants.”
So there was a small amount of horsemeat in their burgers, but those burgers never made it into the restaurants. Or did they?
According to an article today in The Guardian, “(Vice-president for global quality at Burger King) Diego Beamonte was cautious about answering questions about whether customers might have been exposed to contaminated meat previously because of Silvercrest practices. ‘Testing for equine DNA is not a standard practice used in beef production,’ he said.”
I think the take-away from all this is, we should all be a little more diligent about what we put in our bodies. Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know what’s really in it? The further away food gets from its source, the wider the margin is for stuff like this to happen.
If you’re interested in the subject of food politics, I highly recommend anything written by Michael Pollan–check out his website here.
Top photo: Wikimedia Commons