The Burger Manufacturing Company has moved to repair its reputation after it emerged that beef burgers reported by the Food Standards Agency to have tested positive for at least 1% horse meat actually fell well below that threshold.
The FSA issued an update about the most recent findings on its website last week. On 21 February it had stated that three samples of BMC's burgers tested positive for at least 1% horse meat, which was subsequently reported widely in the press.
However the FSA's update last week stated: "The Burger Manufacturing Company (BMC) withdrew the products after initial tests indicated that they contained horse DNA at a 1% limit of detection. However, subsequent tests confirmed the presence of horse DNA at levels below the 1% threshold for reporting."
In a statement issued by BMC's sales and marketing manager Mark Cornall, the company said: "BMC and its parent company Sparks Catering Butchers Ltd have suffered considerable damage during the past two months and losses could potentially be in the region of £250,000 and we are working with our customer base to limit the damage going forward. All product was released by Powys County Council on 7 March 2013 as per their withdrawal of a detention notice but as a customer pointed out only yesterday it is irrelevant that you have now been cleared as the damage has already been done.
"Ultimately once the dust settles and the businesses are back to where they were previously there are serious questions that need addressing and this will be pursued at the right time.
"As of today I have no further comment to make as the timeline of events will reveal itself but I would like to say how grateful we are to our customers for their support and to the ones we have lost, we very much hope to see you again in the near future."