Whitbread changes suppliers over horsemeat concerns

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Whitbread

Whitbread has removed all silvercrest products from its Premier Inn restaurant menus
Whitbread has removed all silvercrest products from its Premier Inn restaurant menus
The UK’s largest hotel and restaurant operator, Whitbread, has been forced to remove thousands of burgers from some of its menus after a supplier embroiled in the horsemeat scandal couldn't guarantee its quality.

The ABP Food Group closed its Silvercrest Foods plant in Ireland after horse DNA was found in its frozen burgers last week. As a result, Whitbread has binned all Silvercrest products and changed suppliers for its Premier Inn, Taybarns and Brewers Fayre brands.

A Whitbread spokesperson told BigHospitality: “We take the quality of our food very seriously. As a precautionary measure, we immediately took the decision to remove Silvercrest products from our menus.

“As we use two beefburger suppliers we were able to quickly replace all our Silvercrest stock through our alternative provider and ensure our customers can enjoy a high quality premium burger. We will be maintaining produce from our secondary supplier until further notice.”

The ABP Food Group - one of Europe's largest processors and suppliers - said that, as a result of new tests, ‘the responsible course of action is to suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect’.

ABP & Makro

A statement on ABP’s website adds: “We anticipate that the facility will be closed for several days to complete the sanitation process. During this time, all ABP staff will continue to be paid and we will be working with the relevant authorities, management and supervisory team to complete our investigation.

“ABP will continue to communicate with our customers and suppliers over the coming days.”

When news of the scandal first broke, BigHospitality reported that catering wholesaler Makro, which supplies pubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses, withdrew 16 frozen beef burger products from sale,​including the 'Silvercrest 100% Steak Burger'.

And a statement on that company’s website reads: “Makro takes food quality extremely seriously and works closely with suppliers to ensure its products are of the highest quality. We have as a precautionary measure removed from sale a small number of frozen beef burger products manufactured by suppliers currently under investigation for food quality issues. 
“We’d like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this causes.”

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