UPDATED: Integrity Of Our Beef And Other Products
22 Mar, 2013
Update Friday 22 March 2013
apetito has carried out extensive tests on our products – none of which have found horsemeat. Details of these tests and the laboratory DNA certificates are listed below. The position remains exactly as per our statement below." - Paul Freeston, Chief Executive
Please note that this statement has been updated and contains information on Pork DNA tests – see below:
apetito and Wiltshire Farm Foods are 100% committed to producing high quality, nutritious, safe and correctly labelled food in which our customers and end consumers have confidence.
Unlike some prepared meal suppliers we actually produce the vast majority of food we sell. For example, all our raw beef, lamb and pork is bought in as whole muscle from approved suppliers and then inspected, butchered (minced and diced) by apetito’s trained staff in our own onsite butchery. We then cook it in our kitchens to produce our wide range of prepared meal products.
However, recent events have rightly caused many people to ask questions of their suppliers and we know our customers want to be sure that they can buy from us with confidence. For this reason, we have put in place one of the most comprehensive DNA testing processes in our sector. To date, in total, we have undertaken 113 DNA tests across our product ranges and we are pleased to advise that no equine (horse) DNA has been found in any of our products.
We also want to ensure that we provide our customers with complete transparency of our testing programme. Therefore, we have also made the laboratory certificates for our tests available online. By clicking on the list of products below, you can view (and print) a copy of the laboratory test certificate for that product.
Of course, we all know that these tests can only have been carried out over a random sample of our products and that each test certificate only reflects the result for that sample. Therefore, compared to production volumes you might be concerned that we have only sampled a very small number of meals.
How can we be confident that there really is no horse meat in our products?
We use a relatively small number of beef ingredients. For example, Beef Chuck is used in Beef Hotpot, Hungarian Goulash and Minced Steak and Potato Pie as well as many other dishes. In the process of testing each product, we have tested our key ingredients multiple times. The table below lists our beef ingredients and shows the number of products that the material has been tested in. It also shows the number of different days of production that these tests cover – demonstrating that our tests have been comprehensive and cover a large number of completely different batches of beef.
This above list covers 98 products – the remaining tests were on other products and raw materials including some non beef items. All 113 certificates are available below. Where a beef ingredient has only been tested once, this means that it only features in 1 meal product. We will be doing more tests on these products.
As part of our testing programme, we have also been testing for any potential pork contamination (again using independent accredited laboratories) and we are now in a position to update our results in respect of this. We have carried out 101 DNA tests. None of these have shown reportable levels of cross contamination ie: pork in beef meals where there is no pork (such as bacon or kidney) in the recipe. All 101 DNA test certificates are available to download below.
However, separately, apetito ltd has been advised by Newtownabbey Borough Council in Northern Ireland that it has tested a pack from one batch of apetito’s beef lasagne and found it to contain a small amount of pork at a level of between 1-5%. The lasagne is completely safe to eat but the product should not contain any pork. We believe that the most likely explanation is accidental cross contamination in our butchery or kitchens. We are investigating this. Over recent weeks, as part of our own testing programme, we have carried out two other DNA tests on other batches of this product and these have showed no pork contamination.
Please note that this product is not labelled or sold as Halal. apetito supplies a separate range of Halal products which are produced by a specialist accredited supplier.
The “Best Before End” (BBE) date of the affected batch is October 2013 and the batch code is 107 B3 (meaning it was produced on 16 April 2012).
2,720 packs of lasagne were produced on this date and delivered to customers between 23 April 2012 and 4 June 2012. We believe that almost all of these will, in turn, have been served by our customers. However, should any customer have unused stock, they can, if they so wish, return the product and we will refund them.
In our update of Friday 22 February, I noted that it was possible that we may identify a problem (though given the level of testing we have completed we do not expect to find horse meat). I also said that the purpose of testing was to identify any possible issue and then improve our systems and processes to eradicate it. Naturally, we are very disappointed that this problem has occurred and we are determined to ensure that we eradicate all cross contamination. However, we continue to believe that we are taking a highly responsible approach to testing.
Meanwhile, we are developing our ongoing testing programme and we will provide updates on our website.
Finally, as a team, we are passionate about our food and we are also really passionate about making a real difference to our consumers – many of whom are older, in hospital or care.
Chief Executive, apetito ltd"
For further information, please download a FAQs page
List of products tested
Horse meat testing certificates
Please click on a product name below to view the horse meat testing certificate.
Pork meat testing certificates
Please click on a product name below to view the pork meat testing certificate.