Strawberry Standards

Widespread Tests in Action Amid the Horsemeat Scandal

Thousands of UK products being tested for traces of horsemeat in beef products.


Lancashire, England -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/25/2013 --Food producers and suppliers throughout the country are conducting tests on their products to determine whether or not they contain any traces of horsemeat. Since news broke in January that some supermarket beef burgers were found to include traces of horse DNA, a number of different suppliers and producers have been implicated in the scandal. As the meat industry tries to restore its reputation; companies are testing their products for any offending traces.

After traces of horsemeat were found in school dinners, public outrage has risen to unprecedented heights. Many producers and suppliers now consider it imperative to prove to their customers that their products adhere to food safety regulations and contain the correct food labeling. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that a large number of companies producing goods with beef derivatives have tested their products.

Although the initial offending products concerned primarily minced beef, products that contain beef that has not been minced will also be tested. The Labour party has even urged the FSA increase the number of tests being carried out and improve the speed in which results are published. Mary Creagh, the shadow environment secretary revealed:

"Labour has been calling for the FSA to get faster results and test more products for weeks, so I welcome the FSA's announcement (to increase product testing).

"With cubed steak, kebabs, stock cubes and gelatine among those new products to be tested, there are indications that the horsemeat scandal could go even wider than previously thought. These new tests need to be done quickly – people want answers now."

This follows the revelation that beef products used in eateries within the House of Commons have been withdrawn and tested for traces of horsemeat. The subsidised eateries are used by MPs, peers and staff. A spokesperson for the Commons revealed that the move was precautionary after one of their suppliers begun tests on their products.

"As a precautionary measure, the House of Commons catering service has removed from its shelves four beef items supplied by Brakes. This relates to meat derivative products rather than to fresh meat provided at the House of Commons.

"The House of Commons catering service has followed all FSA advice and taken all necessary precautions and identified all products that contain beef. We will continue to be vigilant and, in line with FSA guidance, should we not be absolutely satisfied with the guarantees offered by suppliers we will undertake the necessary investigations and tests to give our customers the level of assurance demanded."

As part of the testing process, food producing giant Nestle has revealed that recent results have signified that their products contain no traces of horse DNA

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