Horsemeat: FSA to publish DNA testing results

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has agreed to publish the results of industry testing of meat products to reassure consumers over standards in the food chain.

The decision was made at a meeting between processors, suppliers and the FSA yesterday (5 February), which was called after recent revelations of contamination in meat products.

It was agreed that the results of industry testing would also be made publically available.

Industry and the FSA will now agree a standardised sampling and testing programme with agreed levels of DNA.

Catherine Brown, chief executive of the FSA, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to agree a way forward to maintain consumer confidence in the food that people eat. We need to move swiftly to get this work under way to reassure consumers.”

Food and Farming Minister David Heath, who also attended the meeting, said: “This is a shared problem, and it needs shared solutions. Food businesses’ agreement to give regular updates on meat testing is a significant move that will give consumers confidence in what they’re buying. It’s now important that the industry starts sharing this information as soon as possible.”

The meat industry has come under intense scrutiny since the Food Saftey Authority of Ireland revealed last month that beef burgers on sale in supermarkets in the UK and Ireland contained traces of horse DNA. Subsequent testing on meat products has uncovered further examples of contamination, including the revelation that beef products served in UK prisons as halal contained traces of pig DNA.


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