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Burger King drops Irish supplier

Traces of horsemeat were found in patties from a Burger King supplier.

Associated Press

Traces of horsemeat were found in patties from a Burger King supplier.

LONDON — British and Irish burger fans could face a Whopper shortage. Burger King has stopped buying beef from an Irish meat processor whose patties were found to contain traces of horsemeat.

The fast food chain said Thursday it had dropped Silvercrest Foods as a supplier for its UK and Ireland restaurants as a precautionary measure.

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Last week Silvercrest, which is owned by ABP Food Group, shut down its production line and recalled 10 million burgers from supermarket shelves in Britain and Ireland after horse DNA was found in some beef products.

Burger King said the decision to drop the supplier ‘‘may mean that some of our products are temporarily unavailable.’’ It stressed that ‘‘this is not a food safety issue.’’

The company added that there was ‘‘no evidence to suggest any of the Silvercrest product supplied to Burger King was affected’’ by the horsemeat contamination.

The presence of horsemeat in beef is a sensitive issue in Britain and Ireland, which do not have a tradition of eating horses.

Irish food officials say an ingredient imported from an unspecified European country and used as filler in cheap burgers is the likely source of the horsemeat contamination.

Burger King says its patties are made from 100 percent beef.

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