Horsemeat DNA found in Compass supplier's burgers

FTSE 100-listed contract catering company Compass has admitted that Horsemeat DNA has been found in the burgers of one of its suppliers, Rangeland Foods.

FTSE 100-listed contract catering company Compass has admitted that Horsemeat DNA has been found in the burgers of one of its suppliers, Rangeland Foods.

The company reported that a minor amount of hourse DNA had been found in a sample of the withdrawn product, which was on sale in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Compass said that Rangeland, the firm which produced the burgers, had given it written assurances that none of the identified horse DNA had entered its production.

However, Compass was informed to the contrary when one of its Irish suppliers told the group that it had supplied one burger product from Rangeland Foods to a small number of sites in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"We immediately took the precautionary measure of withdrawing this product and we stopped any further purchases. We subsequently carried out a DNA test on a sample of the withdrawn product, which identified a minor amount of horse DNA."

The company said: "This is totally unacceptable. We have informed all of the affected sites of these developments, explained the actions we have taken and issued unreserved apologies.

"We are deeply concerned by this finding and that, despite the written assurances we and our supplier received, we have had this breach of our supply chain. We are working with the Food Standards Agency and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to establish the details of what happened and to ensure it doesn't happen again."

The company said that the horse meat contaminated product had not been supplied to any mainland UK sites and said it was undertaking a DNA testing programme across its processed meat products.

Rangeland Foods' specialises in producing beefburgers and describes itself as "committed to operate with due care and regard for the environment" on its website. It is accredited by the European Food Safety Inspection Service higher level.

Compass's share price was up 0.26% to 782p at 13:25 on Friday.

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