Friday, January 18, 2013

Don’t give burgers to charity, says Capuchin friar

No decision has yet been made on how to dispose of the 10m burgers taken off the shelves due to horsemeat contamination — and one of the country’s busiest emergency food providers has said it would not give them to its clients.

The Capuchin Day Centre on Dublin’s Bow St hands out as many as 1,500 food parcels to people each Wednesday, and can have 600 people a week in for breakfast.

The lengthening queues for food parcels has been an illustration of the growing hardship experienced by many families, but yesterday Br Kevin Crowley dismissed any idea that the unwanted burgers would be used by charities.

“Most certainly not,” said the Cork-born friar. “The most important thing for us for the people we are feeding is that they have the best of food. We have the upmost respect for the people we deal with — if the ordinary person cannot take it [the burgers], why should we give them to the poor?”

However, Brendan Dempsey, regional vice president of St Vincent de Paul, has said he was confident charities would accept some of the burgers if they passed all food safety standards. “It’s sinful to waste food when people are hungry. So long as the burgers come up to food safety standards and people are aware of what is in them, I wouldn’t have a problem with making them available to people,” he said.

A spokesperson for the ABP Food Group, which owns Silvercrest Food, confirmed the burgers were in storage and no decision had been made as to how to dispose of them. It has received suggestions, however, including that they be passed on to charities or turned into pet food.

Oliver Williams, who operates Twist soup kitchens said: “I have people who would be glad for that food. You can’t waste it, it is good food at the end of the day.”

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