Convenience food manufacturer Greencore says multiple testing on a batch of beef bolognese source reported to be contaminated with horse meat has come back negative.
Greencore, which has 23 convenience foods manufacturing sites in Britain and the US, said it had been informed on February 16 by retailer Asda that the results of a test on Asda’s Chosen By You 350-gram Beef Bolognese Sauce, manufactured at Greencore’s Bristol facility, had shown 4.8 per cent of equine DNA.
Asda withdrew the product pending further investigation and testing.
Greencore said it could now confirm that multiple further tests for the presence of equine DNA on the same batch of the same product, using both screening and quantitative tests, at two different, independent accredited laboratories, had all produced negative results.
Asda confirmed to Greencore that it was reassured by the outcomes of this comprehensive testing programme and by the implications for its supply chain.
More broadly, an extensive programme of testing of other finished product and raw material at the Bristol facility has produced negative results for the presence of equine DNA.
The investigation of the overall incident, overseen by an independent expert, has now been completed.
It included an audit of ABP Food Group’s plant in Nenagh, Ireland, which supplied the meat in the sauce as stated in the announcement of 14 February. This investigation has found no evidence of contamination in the supply chain.
“Notwithstanding the findings of this investigation, and as announced on 18 February, Greencore has now implemented additional species screening procedures throughout its supply chain for beef-related ingredients going into all Greencore facilities,” it said in a statement.
“Greencore is continuing to work with all customers and suppliers to complete the current intensive phase of testing as soon as possible and to validate and reinforce the supply chain. The company will provide any further updates on its website as appropriate.”