Sainsbury’s has started a “precautionary” withdrawal of beef burgers sourced from one of the suppliers caught up in the horse meat investigation.

Sainsbury’s has not been named as one of the retailers affected by findings that some beef burgers on sale in the UK and Ireland contain traces of horse DNA. But, it does use one of the suppliers implicated: Dalepak.

“All our burgers are made from 100% British beef, but as a precautionary measure we are withdrawing those sourced from Dalepak,” a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told just-food today (16 January).

“Although Sainsbury’s products have not been implicated, as our customers would expect we treat matters like this extremely seriously.”

Earlier today, Asda also took the precautionary measure of recalling some products, despite not being named by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s investigation (FSAI).

Last night, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland were forced to begin recalls of some burger lines after FSAI said it found horse DNA in 10 out of 27 beef burger samples on sale across UK and Ireland.

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By GlobalData

One sample, from Tesco, showed horse meat made up 29% of declared ‘beef’ content. Tesco apologised to consumers and reassured that it was investigating the matter urgently.

A further 21 out of a possible 31 beef meal products, including cottage pie, lasagne and beef curry, were found to contain pig DNA. FSAI and all retailers have stressed that there is no known risk to public health.

Speaking in Parliament today, UK prime minister David Cameron called the findings “disturbing”. The UK Food Standards Agency was in an emergency meeting with industry representatives this afternoon in order to discuss the possible extent of the issue.

The FSAI has traced the meat to three suppliers: Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland, and Dalepak Hambleton in the UK. It is thought the meat may emanate from continental Europe.

Several experts said the FSAI findings raise important questions around governance of the food supply chain.