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Horsemeat statement

As you know, we unfortunately had to withdraw a small number of our overall beef product range from sale on the 22nd of February. We told you how sorry we were for letting you down and that we would keep you informed of what action we were taking and, once we got to the bottom of the problem, tell you how it happened.

We can now reassure you that our comprehensive DNA testing programme on all our beef meat products is complete. We have now tested all products multiple times through multiple samples over a period of 4 weeks. In total we have tested 250 products across Europe and confirmed three products as containing horsemeat. These are a Chilli con carne 420g product sold in Belgium and Spaghetti Bolognese 340g and Beef Lasagne 400g products sold in the UK and Ireland. All other products across our beef range have now been given the all clear and we have submitted our test results to the relevant national regulatory authorities as requested.

But how did this happen? Our investigation has shown that Frigilunch N.V. (who supplied these products to us) was itself supplied meat with horse in it by an Irish meat processor QK Meats. Frigilunch N.V.’s own independent tests and investigation have confirmed our findings. We have reported these findings to the relevant national regulatory authorities and Frigilunch N.V. has taken immediate action and suspended them as a supplier of meat.

All other meat suppliers to Frigilunch N.V. have been given the all clear through both Iglo Group and Frigilunch N.V.’s separate testing programmes.

You can rest assured that all other suppliers to Iglo Group have also been given the all clear.

We are pleased that we have now completed our investigation and been able to isolate the problem to one source. But what are we going to do going forward to avoid something like this happening again?

We have now introduced a new on-going ‘triple lock’ DNA testing programme that will ensure no minced beef meat product can reach supermarket shelves without first having been cleared by three stages of DNA testing. We are now demanding, and have agreed with all suppliers, that they DNA test all products entering their premises. They will then DNA test products leaving their premises. Iglo Group will then conduct its own DNA tests before products go to shops. We believe this triple lock DNA testing process is the leading way to do this in our industry.

This means that next time you see any of our minced beef meat products on shelf/in the freezer they will have been through this triple lock testing process so you can be sure you are eating what is labelled on the pack.

We feel the same as our customers do – this should never have happened, but now that it has, it is up to us to make sure we do all we can to avoid it happening again. Aside from our triple lock DNA testing process we will be looking at what other changes we can make to our supply chain. We know that our customers expect us to maintain the highest standards and we will continue to look for new ways to do so. We will keep you informed as we progress this.