Burger King Uses Horse Meat-Fiction! & Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
Rumors have gone viral that Burger King adds horsemeat to its burgers.
Add Burger King to the long list of fast food chains accused of using horsemeat, but that’s an outdated and false claim.
One of Burger King’s European meat suppliers was linked to burger patties tainted with horse DNA back in 2012, but tests revealed that Burger King’s meat supply wasn’t affected.
Those old horsemeat rumors were drudged up in September 2015 by the fake news website Before It’s News in a story headlined, “Burger King Admits Burgers Contain Horsemeat.”
The 2015 report made it appear that the three-year-old Burger King horsemeat controversy was just unfolding, but that’s not the case. Back in 2012, one of the Burger King’s European suppliers, Silvercrest, was caught producing burgers tainted with horse DNA. It became known across Europe as the “horsemeat scandal of 2013.” But no horsemeat was found in Burger King products.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced in early 2013 that hamburger patties produced at a Silvercrest plant in Ireland contained tace amounts of horse DNA, according to a report:
Of the 27 burger products analysed, all were positive for bovine DNA, 23 (85%) were positive for porcine DNA and 10 (37%) were positive for equine DNA. Most of the burgers positive for porcine DNA were not labelled as containing pork which was found at very low levels and again we considered its presence may be unintentional and due to cross-over during the processing of different animal species in the same plant. The 27 burgers which were tested in this study came from nine different manufacturers, six in Ireland and three in the UK. The products which tested positive for equine DNA came from three plants, two in Ireland and one in the UK.
A surprising result was the detection of equine DNA in 10 beef burgers which were not labelled as containing horse meat. Given this unexpected finding, we decided that these results needed to be confirmed and the laboratory was requested to sequence the DNA detected to ensure that it was of equine and porcine origin. This was confirmed by the laboratory on 10th December.
Silvercrest was one of the nine manufacturers that tested positive for horsemeat. The producer was shut down, and the company recalled 10 million burgers from supermarkets in the U.K. and Ireland. At the time, it was widely reported that Silvercrest was a Burger King supplier, which led to speculation that burgers sold at Burger King were tainted with horsemeat. Burger King quickly announced that it had dropped Silvercrest as a supplier as a “precautionary measure.”
The false Before It’s News report linked to an article published by The Guardian in January 2013. That report was (incorrectly) headlined, “Burger King reveals its burgers were contaminated in horsemeat scandal.” The headline contradicts what’s reported in the story, however. Burger King said trace amounts of horse DNA had been found at its supplier’s plant — but it said no horse DNA had been found in its burgers.
Then, Burger King released a statement in February 2013 that said it had conducted tests that definitively showed no horse meat burgers had been delivered to its restaurants. The burger chain did acknowledge, however, that its independent testing had found horse DNA at the processing plant :
“While the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has stated that this is not a food safety issue, we are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100 percent beef burgers. Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.”
So, Burger King never used horsemeat in its burgers. A European supplier of Burger King was found to have supplied grocery stores — not Burger King — with burger patties that had horse DNA in them. Still, those rumors persist today.