Pre-fried beef burgers: photo - pressweb.cz
“They put horse meat in our beef products,” an angry Bohumil Volf, general manager at the Bidvest Czech Republic meat distributors, told Polish Radio's thenews.pl.
Bidvest have had to pull their “Pre-Fried Frozen Beef Burgers' from the Czech market after the National Veterinary Association in Prague notified them that they contained horse meat.
Bidvest distributes the burgers in the Czech Republic after receiving them from the producer in Poland.
“We are buying our burgers from a company called FVZ Deli Meat, Poland. We have been in contact with this company for a couple of years,” Volf said.
“We have now officially informed the Czech authorities, stopped selling the product and have also informed this producer from Poland.”
Czech authorities have also found that horse meat was present in IKEA meat balls made in Sweden.
The Czech discovery is the first time it has been confirmed that horse meat had entered the Polish food production chain, and comes after agricultural minister Stanislaw Kalemba claimed that “Polish beef is as clean as a whistle”.
“The Czech authorities called me and said: 'Mr Volf – you imported the beef burgers from Poland. We took samples and, through DNA, we are officially confirming to you that they contain horse meat,” the Bidvest managing director said on Monday.
“It's [FVZ's] mistake but we have the problem in the Czech Republic,” Bohumil Volf says.
FVZ was unavailable for comment on Monday evening.
Poland was originally implicated in horse meat being found in beef burgers in supermarkets in Ireland this January, after the Irish agricultural Ministry said that a Polish slaughterhouse had supplied the 'beef'.
After an inspection of 15 slaughterhouses in Poland, no horse meat DNA was found to be in the production process, however. (pg)
Reporting by Veronika Joy and Peter Gentle