Waitrose to build frozen meat factory
Waitrose has confirmed that it is to build its own factory to produce frozen meat products after it withdrew its Essentials frozen beef meatballs from sale amid fears that they might contain pork.
The new unit is expected to be operational within the next three months and will be based at long term supplier Dovecote Park’s state of the art facility in Yorkshire.
Dovecote Park has been exclusively supplying Waitrose with fresh beef products such as burgers, steaks and joints since 1997. Waitrose said that all beef processed by Dovecote Park was sourced from a known and trusted group of British farmers with none bought on the open market.
The supermarket is the latest retailer to get caught up in the recent scandal across Europe regarding the mislabelling of meat products. In recent weeks Waitrose has taken the precautionary action of removing two frozen meat products which were not produced by Dovecote Park.
While frozen beef burgers were put back on sale after tests confirmed that the meat in the product was 100% beef, a test on frozen meatballs showed that the products might contain some pork and they were subsequently taken off sale. Neither the frozen beefburgers nor frozen meatballs tested positive for horse meat.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: "Our customers rightly expect the highest standards of product quality and integrity from us and we won’t let anything stand in the way of our delivering this.
"Dovecote Park is a dedicated supplier to Waitrose. They share our values and our commitment to British farming so extending our joint activities into a range of frozen meat products is a tremendously positive move."
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