The Restaurant Group (TRG) has withdrawn all of its burgers from Irish manufacturer Rangeland Foods, the supplier at the heart of the horsemeat scandal.
The company, which operates the Garfunkel's, Chiquito and Frankie and Benny's chains, as well as pub brand Brunning and Price, said that following the announcement that Rangeland Foods had discovered that a batch of meat - contained traces of horse meat, TRG destroyed all of its burgers.
TRG added that it is now sourcing all of its burgers from UK suppliers and that all of its beef burger products have been tested to confirm that they are horsemeat-free.
A spokesman for TRG said: "TRG were supplied by Rangeland, but following the announcement on 26 January by the Irish Food Standards Agency that they were investigating all beef supplies into Ireland sourced from Poland that may contain a contaminant, TRG decided to cease using Irish suppliers of burgers. At this stage, there was no indication that Rangeland Foods were being investigated by the Irish FSA."
He added: "Subsequently, on 4 February, the Irish FSA announced that Rangeland Foods had identified that a batch of meat contained equine DNA. Whilst Rangeland has confirmed in their statement that the contaminated batch of meat did not enter their production processes, TRG has destroyed, as a precaution, all products sourced from Rangeland and now only source burgers from UK suppliers - all beef burger products have been tested to confirm that they are clear of equine DNA."
TRG's move comes just a week after Burger King severed ties with its Irish food supplier after finding small traces of horse DNA in the meat used for its burgers. The fast food chain, which has more than 500 outlets in the UK, issued full page newspaper apologies in which it confirmed that it had terminated its contract with Silvercrest Foods.
By Kerstin Kuhn
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