Food producers given week to test beef products for horseLONDON — Britain’s Food Standards Agency gave food makers a week to test all their beef products after a range of lasagnas produced by Findus Group was found to contain more than 60 percent horse meat.
By: GABI THESING, Bloomberg News
LONDON — Britain’s Food Standards Agency gave food makers a week to test all their beef products after a range of lasagnas produced by Findus Group was found to contain more than 60 percent horse meat.
The agency also said it involved the police in Britain and Europe as evidence of horse meat in burgers and lasagna “points to either gross negligence or deliberate contamination in the food chain,” according to a statement on its website today.
British supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Aldi have removed some ranges of frozen beef burgers from their shelves in the past month as concern has escalated over tainted meat. Tesco last week dropped one of its suppliers after the discovery of horse DNA in some products.
The government body set a deadline of Feb. 15 for food producers to test for horse meat and report back with results, according to a statement on its website Thursday night.
The FSA “is now requiring a more robust response from the food industry in order to demonstrate that the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label,” Chief Executive Officer Catherine Brown said in the statement. “We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagna, and provide the results to the FSA.”
For now, the FSA doesn’t intend to widen the scope of the testing and the agency will await the results, a spokesman said. A Findus spokesman couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.
“This issue is probably going to run all year,” said Bryan Roberts, an analyst at Kantar Retail in London.