CATERING FIRM Sodexo has revealed the two suppliers of meat products in its chain that tested positive for horse DNA. The affected burger was from Brakes while the two mince products were supplied by Vestey.
Vestey Foods is chaired by Lord Vestey, a senior member of the Royal Household. As “master of the horse” he is responsible for the Royal Mews and the carriages and horses of the Queen.
Sodexo had come under pressure from MPs in England and Scotland to reveal details of its suppliers. However, it maintained that is was complying fully with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) requirements. In a statement released today, March 14th, the company explained that the testing regime consisted of two elements – the first to determine whether horse meat is present in the products above a 1% threshold, and the second to identify the specific levels of contamination. The results of these second tests are not yet believed to be available, but the company said it could confirm that “the contracted supplier of the two affected mince products is Vestey and of the burger is Brakes".
Brakes, the largest foodservice provider in Scotland, was also criticised by MSPs this week for not disclosing information about its meat supply chain.
Brakes said it has “provided all the relevant information to the FSA, in order that they can fully investigate the issue”. However, a spokeswoman added that “we do not feel it is our place to publically name companies while the FSA’s investigations are still ongoing”.