Fast food chain Burger King insisted last week that they would not be withdrawing any meat products in reaction to the horsemeat scandal spreading across the UK, claiming that their products were not affected.
The fast food giant was one of many restaurant and supermarket chains that bought meat from Silvercrest Foods, the Irish meat processor that has recently come under fire for traces of horse DNA found in their products.
But now, the fast food chain has decided to dump millions of burgers from locations across Denmark, the UK and Ireland, the British newspaper the Sun reports.
Burger King managers were instructed to pack up Whoppers, Angus burgers and patties and mark them to signify their intended disposal.
“All unopened boxes of Silvercrest Foods product must be marked with a large ‘X’ and ‘do not use’ to indicate that it is prohibited from being opened or sold to our guests,” an internal memo to Burger King staff stated. “All sides of the box must be marked.”
Cooking tools, pans, sinks and dishcloths used in kitchens where the meat was handled must also be sanitised or disposed of.
According to the January 20 memo, employees at restaurants in the UK were told to continue serving the suspected meat until they received replacement product from a different supplier – and make no mention of the withdrawal to customers.
“If our guests inquire regarding our beef products, the team member should immediately inform the restaurant manager,” wrote Tracy Gehlan, the vice president of brand standards and excellence for stores in northwestern Europe, wrote in the memo.
“The manager should inform the guest that Burger King ‘has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that our guests are receiving the quality products that Burger King is known for’.”
The chain has since arranged a new meat supplier, but warned staff of a possible shortage of Angus burgers, Angus mini burgers and Angus XL, all popular menu options.
There are 29 Burger King locations throughout Denmark.