Burger King admits selling Whoppers containing horse meat.

From the dailymail

Burger King has tonight admitted that it has been selling burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat despite two weeks of denials.

The fast food chain, which has more than 500 UK outlets, had earlier given a series of ‘absolute assurances’ that its products were not involved.

However, new tests have revealed these guarantees were incorrect in a revelation that threatens to destroy the trust of customers.

Burger King has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up of its links to the horsemeat scandal in order to give it time to find an alternative supplier. It has admitted selling burgers containing horsemeat

It also raises serious questions about whether the food company, which sells around one million burgers a week in the UK, has any good idea about what goes into its products.

The contaminated burgers were made by the Irish-based processing company, Silvercrest, which is part the ABP Foods Group.

The same company also made tainted burgers for Tesco, Asda and the Co-op, among others.

Burger King has faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up of its links to the horsemeat scandal in order to give it time to find an alternative supplier.

It is currently shipping in tens of thousands of burgers from suppliers in Germany and Italy in order to meet demand at its UK outlets.

It is known that the management at Silvercrest has been using a series of non-approved ingredients in their burgers for a range of household name brands.

These included meat off-cuts, including horse, that were imported in large frozen blocks from Poland.

The contamination has been going on since at least last May and potentially for up to one year, according to evidence presented to MPs earlier this week.

Tonight Burger King abandoned its earlier denials, saying: ‘Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA

‘Within the last 36 hours, we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland.

‘They promised to deliver 100per cent British & Irish beef patties and have not done so. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them.

‘Through our investigation, we have confirmed that this non-approved Polish supplier is the same company identified by the Irish Department of Agriculture as the source of Silvercrest’s contamination issue.’

‘We are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100per cent beef burgers.’

– Burger King vice president

The contamination scandal was first triggered two weeks ago, with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland revealed it had found horse meat in burgers sold in Ireland and the UK.

When the news first emerged, Burger King said it had been given an ‘absolute assurance’ by its supplier that its products were not involved.

Yesterday, Burger King vice president, Diego Beamonte, said: ‘We are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100per cent beef burgers.

‘Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.’

He added: ‘We will dedicate ourselves to determining what lessons can be learned and what additional measures, including DNA testing and enhanced traceability controls, can be taken to ensure that we continue to provide you with the quality products you expect from us.’

Jeanette Longfield, of the campaigning food and health group, Sustain, has condemned Burger King’s handling of the problem.

‘Burger King’s approach has been very shabby,’ she said.

‘It really is not the open, honest and transparent way that we expect a major food company to treats its customers.’

Earlier today, Aldi admitted for the first time that burgers sold through its UK stores were also probably contaminated with traces of horse meat.

Its burgers were made by a British supplier, Dalepak, which is based in Richmond, north Yorkshire.

The same company manufactures burgers for Iceland, which has also admitted to finding horse meat in products sold to families in this country.

Dalepak also makes burgers for Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, which both insist that their burgers are clear of contamination.

The processing company is a subsidiary of the Irish company, ABP Food Group, which also owns a second burger manufacturing business, which is Silvercrest, in southern Ireland.

Aldi said a sample of its frozen Oakhurst Beefburgers showed up positive for 0.1per cent horse DNA, while its Oakhurst Beef Quarter Pounders were 0.1per cent equine and 0.1per cent pork.

The company withdrew all of its frozen burgers from UK stores when the scandal first erupted two weeks ago as a precaution.

Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland

A spokesman said: ‘Customers are our absolute priority. This is why we immediately withdrew these products until such a time that we could verify that there was no risk to our customers.

‘We are deeply angry and feel let down by our supplier and we are pursuing more tests until we are certain that we understand how the production line was contaminated.

‘Aldi requires rigorous verification and quality control procedures and we cannot allow our quality commitment to our customers to be compromised.

‘We will continue to maintain active scrutiny across our supply lines, and we assure our customers their health and safety is our number one priority.’

FDA’s research on food labels: any help?

Great post form the Food Politics Blog

Nutrition Facts panels on food labels are notoriously confusing.  People who use them usually look for only one item such as fat or calories.

As I’ve discussed previously. the label is so difficult to interpret that the FDA devotes pages on its website to explaining it.  When the FDA did the original research in the early 1990s, it tested a large number of formats.  When it became clear that people did not understand any of them very well, the FDA chose the least worst—the one that was understood least poorly.

Two decades later, the FDA is revisiting the Nutrition Facts panel to make it easier to understand in the light of today’s concerns about calories and obesity.  Once again, it is testing multiple formats.  The results of the first round of research have just been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND), and reporters are trying to make sense of them.

FDA researchers tested 10 formats differing in number of servings and columns (1 or 2, each), font size, and wording.  They asked respondents for opinions about the healthfulness of the product, number of calories and nutrients per serving, perceptions of the label, and the ability to choose healthier products and those with fewer calories.  This, like the research in the early 1990s, is complicated.

The result:

For products that contain 2 servings but are customarily consumed at a single eating occasion, using a single-serving or dual-column labeling approach may help consumers make healthier food choices.

Here’s an example of one of the formats that may help:

Soda companies are already doing something like this, but a 20-ounce soda has more than 2 servings.  Serving size is what confuses.  If it’s 100 calories per serving, those calories have to be multiplied by the number of servings per container.

The Institute of Medicine produced two reports for the FDA on front-of-package labels and also suggested a way to integrate its ideas into the Nutrition Facts label.

Is the FDA testing this idea?  I hope so.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 4 avocados
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime
  • Optional: 2 serrano chiles chopped and seeded, salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Peel and mash the avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for a half-hour.
  3. Tip: To maintain color, save one avocado stone and put it in the guacamole.

Pigs in a Blanket

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Almond Flour
  • 4 Tbsp. Cold, Diced Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Eggs
  • Around 14 Organic Beef or Turkey Hot Dogs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Add all ingredients (except hot dogs) into a food processor and pulse until it pulls away from edges and forms a ball.
  2. Separate the dough into two balls, cover and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the dough to cool, slice each hot dog into 4 pieces.
  4. Take out the dough and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper until it forms a flat, round circle about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, slice into wedges that are about the width of each hot dog at it’s thickest point.
  6. Roll each hot dog in a dough wedge, starting at the widest point. It will look like a crescent roll.
  7. Place all on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool slightly and serve!

Meatball

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 2 TBSP garlic salt
  • 1 onion, diced small or grated
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced very small
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBSP chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and mix with hands until well incorporated.
  2. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs (or a tad larger).
  3. Place into heated pan and cover for about 6 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, flip meatballs over with tongs, and cook, uncovered, for another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove and set aside and repeat with remaining meatballs. I kept mine covered with foil on the “warm” setting in the oven while I cooked the rest.

Fries with herbs

Paleo fries

Ingredients

  • 4 large white potatoes, peeled;
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted;
  • 1 ½ tsp ground pepper;
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano, finely chopped;
  • 2 tsp salt;
  • 1 ½ tsp parsley, finely chopped;
  • ½ tsp thyme, finely chopped;

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Once you have peeled your potatoes, using a large and sharp knife, cut them into long thin strips. If you choose to make them more like thick wedges, that’s fine, just keep in mind that they will most likely require a bit longer in the oven.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all of the herbs, salt and pepper. Give everything a good toss to make sure the herbs get evenly dispersed.
  4. On a large baking sheet, spread out the potato slices and drizzle with the oil. Toss them around with your hands to make sure everything is coated. Then sprinkle the herb mixture on top, again being sure to use your hands to coat everything well.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes and then flip the potatoes around and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve them up hot with some homemade ketchup!

Chicken Wings

paleo-chicken-wings-recipe

Ingredients for the Paleo Chicken Wings

2-3 lbs. of chicken wings and drumettes
2 tbsp of grass-fed butter melted
Salt
Your chosen sauce (see sauce recipes below)

Directions for Game Day Paleo Chicken Wings

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees(F). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. Boil your chicken wings and drumettes for 7 to 8 minutes. (This is the secret… so don’t skip this!). Remove the chicken wins/drumettes and let them drip dry on a wire rack.

3. Take a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Give the parchment paper a quick spray or brush of olive oil to prevent sticking.

4. Your wings should be fairly dry by now. But you’ll want to go ahead and dry them further by patting them down with a paper towel.

5. Place your wings on the baking sheet and don’t let them touch.

6. You’ll want to melt your butter and add a couple dashes of salt. Lightly brush the melted butter and salt over the wings.

7. Place into the oven and bake them for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes you’ll want to flip your chicken wings and cook them for an additional 10 minutes.

8. Take them out of the oven and toss them in a large mixing bowl with your chosen sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Choose your sauce below or make a batch of each flavor. Both of these chicken wing sauces are tested and delicious.

Classic Buffalo Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce or your preferred hot sauce
1/4 cup of grass-fed butter
1 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar

Directions

Melt the butter over medium heat and mix in all the other ingredients. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the wings are ready to be tossed in the sauce.

Smoked Hickory Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup of grass-fed butter
2 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp of Long’s Peak Pork Chop Spice*

*Couple of notes about the spice blend. First, I know it says “pork chop” in the name but trust me that it tastes great on wings. It even says to use it for chicken wings right on the bottle. Second, you can go right here and see all the individual spices that make up the rub. You can try to recreate it or just order a small bag to try it out. I have no affiliation with Savory Spice Shop.

Directions

Once again… Melt the butter over medium heat and mix in all the other ingredients. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the wings are ready to be tossed in the sauce.

The chicken wings that are shown in the picture were made with the smoked hickory sauce. They were delicious! No matter who you cheer for on Thursday night, Sunday afternoon or Monday night, these wings will be a hit!