Burger King VP Diego Beamonte said, “We are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologize to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100% beef burgers.”
After two weeks of “absolute assurances” that they were selling only the “highest quality 100% beef burgers,” Burger King, which has more than 500 fast food restaurants in the United Kingdom, has admitted to selling burgers and Whoppers that contained horsemeat. This admission has raised some alarming questions as to whether the fast food chain, which sells over one million burgers a week across the UK, has any real idea what goes into its products. The Daily Mail reports that the contaminated burgers came from Silvercrest, which is an Irish-based processing company that is part of the ABP Foods Group.
Burger King has begun shipping in “tens of thousands” of burger patties from both German and Italian suppliers to meet the demand for it’s UK restaurants. In a statement released on Friday evening the fast food chain said,
Within the last 36 hours, we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland.They promised to deliver 100per cent British & Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them. Through our investigation, we have confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier is the same company identified by the Irish Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest’s contamination issue.
Along with this statement, Buger King’s vice president Diego Beamonte said,
Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again. We will dedicate ourselves to determining what lessons can be learned and what additional measures, including DNA testing and enhanced traceability controls, can be taken to ensure that we continue to provide you with the quality products you expect from us.
Critics of the fast food chain assert that Burger King was “orchestrating a cover-up” with the intention of finding alternative suppliers in the hopes of avoiding any involvement with the horsemeat scandal. There is no doubt they have violated the trust of their customers, but only time will tell if it will have a lasiting or damaging effect on the company overall.
Photo: Julien Menichini/Flickr