Whitbread apologises after adding pork to lasagne dishes
10th Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver
Restaurant chain Whitbread has apologised after it emerged some of its restaurants have been adding pork to lasagne dishes, without telling customers.
Whitbread brands Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Whitbread Inn have been serving the meals, to nearly 250,000 customers, for three months in a cost-cutting move, according to the Sun.
Thirteen Whitbread Inns and 86 Table Table restaurants still describe the dish as 'beef lasagne', even though the description on the packaging shows the meal includes a 'beef and pork ragu' (see image left), while the ingredients confirm it has 8.5 per cent beef and 4.5 per cent pork.
Sister chain Brewers Fayre, which has 159 outlets, labels it 'lasagne, but there is no mention that a dish widely assumed to contain only beef also has pork, the Sun said.
The newspaper suggested the move would cause 'outrage among Jews and Muslims, whose religions forbid the eating of pork'.
Professor Chris Elliott, director of the Institute for Global Food Security in Belfast and author of the review of the horsemeat scandal, said: “I am absolutely horrified. That is deception.
“It has happened either by a terrible cock-up within the company or a deliberate act. Either way it is unacceptable.
“Having undeclared meat in food has echoes of the horsemeat scandal. There will need to be an investigation.”
According to the Sun, labelling guidelines from the Food Standards Agency specifically mention lasagne as an example of where companies need to be clear if it contains pork as the dish is 'usually made with beef'.
Whitbread insisted it had not broken food labelling laws. But a spokesman for the company said: “We would like to apologise sincerely to our customers for any concern or confusion this may have caused.”
The company was caught up in the horsemeat scandal when lasagne sold in its restaurants was found to contain horse DNA.