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News & Press Releases

Whitbread update on meat supply.

22 February 2010




At Whitbread we take the quality and standards of our food extremely seriously and we have been dismayed by the discovery on 14th February 2013 of equine DNA in two of our products.  We immediately withdrew those products from our menus and launched a full investigation into our meat supply chain.

We are taking a wide range of actions to guarantee the quality and specification of our products and give our customers confidence in the integrity of our food. These include:

•    extending our independent batch testing of processed meats to ensure that supplies meet our demanding product specifications  
•    requiring certification from suppliers for all processed meat products
•    planning a completely new system of traceability to include a clear tracking of ingredients from ‘field to fork’.

Our customers have reacted positively to the actions that we’ve taken and our restaurants continue to trade well.  We expect to have newly sourced and certified beef burgers back on our menus this week.

It has become clear that this is a Europe wide issue of quality control within parts of the processed meat supply chain, supplying many restaurants and retailers.  The situation is totally unacceptable and we are determined to play our part in repairing a flawed system. 

We believe that a wholesale change is required to the way the supply chain is regulated and a tougher regime needs to be put in place.   As a major player within the industry we intend to take an active role and assist the FSA in setting the standards in the food supply chain that the UK public expect and deserve.


For further information please contact:

Anna Glover             Whitbread     07768 917 651

David Allchurch        Tulchan         0207 353 4200