FACT CHECK: Did Burger King Admit To Using Horse Meat?

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An article shared on Facebook claims fast food chain Burger King admitted to using horse meat in its burgers.

Verdict: False

The article misrepresents a 2013 horse meat incident involving one of the fast food company’s European suppliers. None of the contaminated beef was sold in Burger King restaurants.

Fact Check:

The article, published on Worthytoshare.com, appears to reference a real beef contamination incident involving one of Burger King’s suppliers in the U.K, though it inflates Burger King’s involvement and its impact on the company. (RELATED: Video Claims A NYC Restaurant Got A License To Serve Human Meat)

In January 2013, Burger King announced that it had stopped purchasing beef from Silvercrest Foods as a “voluntary and precautionary measure” after tests found horse DNA in some of the Irish meat supplier’s products, reported CBS News. Silvercrest, which was owned by ABP Food Group at the time, had imported the contaminated beef from an unapproved supplier in Poland, according to a 2013 Burger King press release.

There is, however, no evidence that Burger King “tried to sweep it under the rug,” nor that the company admitted to selling burgers containing horse meat supplied by Silvercrest. In fact, Burger King issued a press release contradicting the article’s claim Jan. 31, 2013.

“Our independent DNA test results on products taken from BURGER KING® restaurants were negative for any equine DNA,” the company said in that press release. “However, four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA. This product was never sold to our restaurants.”

This isn’t the first time claims about Burger King serving contaminated sandwiches have circulated online. In 2017, fact-checking website PolitiFact debunked a similar article. Snopes debunked another the year before that.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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