Greene King has responded to ITV's portrayal of the pub chain's steaks in its publicity materials for Undercover Mum, where zebu DNA was found in steaks served in its Hungry Horse pubs.
The pub operator said they "utterly deny" any claims that its steaks are sub-standard, noting that zebu is a breed of cow, with the distinction between the meat's similar to Aberdeen Angus and Charolais breed.
Hungry Horse marketing director Adam Collett, said: "We insist on rigorous standards from our butchers who provide us with great beef from recognised, traceable herds. Most of our beef for rump steaks is British-reared, but our suppliers also buy from recognised, reputable farmers from abroad. All of it meets the highest quality standards. Our customers would expect nothing less.
"Famous European and zebu breeds of cattle have been cross-bred for centuries to produce high quality beef that is indistinguishable from other cross-breeds reared in the UK or anywhere else in the world. The only difference is that the cattle are well adapted for living and grazing in their particular environment."
By Christopher Walton