Retailers and food businesses are expected to release information about their DNA-tested products, in light of what could be the biggest meat scandal this decade.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retailers have tested thousands of beef products over the last three weeks, which is two-thirds of the products they set out to test. The BRC has revealed that five products have tested positive for horsemeat against the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) “threshold” of 1%.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Our members take their responsibilities to customers very seriously. We are extremely disappointed by recent events and understand consumers’ concern.
“The only people who really matter are consumers and they need to know that we are thinking about long-term, effective solutions to the issues that have come to light. That’s exactly what we are doing.”
Results to-date are as follows:
The Co-operative Group announced that its latest independent tests showed there was no horse DNA in any of the 76 (out of 102) own-brand products tested containing minced beef. The group has had 75% of its results returned.
A Co-op spokesperson said: “We have commissioned stringent ongoing independent testing on our own-brand products containing minced beef, as agreed with the Food Standards Agency.
“Today’s results have shown that, so far, no products in the current batch of those being tested have been found to contain horse DNA.
“Our tests are still ongoing and we continue to work with both the FSA and the British Retail Consortium, and expect to issue further updates in the next few days.”
Morrisons has announced that, out of its 68 test results received so far, no contamination has been found.
Iceland has also revealed that all of its own-brand products were free of horsemeat.
Sainsbury's has announced that it found no traces of horse DNA in any of its products. It added that it was playing its part in the wider industry investigation and if it found any horse DNA, it would take action.
Tesco has new test results on its 149 products, which it said were all clear.
Supplier to thousands of pubs, the owner of Premier Inn, Beefeaters Grill and Brewers Fayre, Whitbread, has confirmed that two of its products contained horsemeat after testing.
Compass Group has also found between 5% and 30% horsemeat in the burgers it sold to Northern Ireland. The company supplies schools in the UK.
Asda stated that, out of 196 tests on its own-brand processed beef products, none of its products were positive for horsemeat against the FSA's threshold.
The supermarket chain Aldi said 163 products it tested were clear of horse DNA, however, more were to be carried out.
Lidl said its 35 Lidl-branded beef products were free from horsemeat and the same for Waitrose, which said its 40 tests were negative for horsemeat.