Horsemeat: FSA reveals contaminants in 10 beef products

Ten beef samples have shown positive results for DNA contaminants, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed, in the first two phases of a UK-wide beef sampling programme.

According to the FSA, the results have shown 352 samples out of 362 to be negative for the presence of both horse and pig DNA. While 10 samples tested positive for pig or horse DNA at or above the 1% threshold. Three samples tested positive for pig DNA and included Asda’s Spaghetti and Meatballs, ASDA Beef Cannelloni and Apetito Beef Lasagne.

Two more products, a Whitbread burger and IKEA meatballs, were confirmed as containing horse DNA at or above the 1% threshold. However, both of these products had tested positive previously and were reported by the food industry’s own testing results.

The last five results have been “challenged” and the FSA said results of further independent tests are awaited. “The purpose of the sampling programme is to get an accurate picture of the potential scale of contamination of beef products on high streets and in the catering supply chain across the UK,” said the FSA.

“The findings of the survey, carried out by 28 local authorities on behalf of the FSA, are consistent with those from the tests carried out by the food industry. The results confirm that the contamination and adulteration of beef products, with horse or pork meat, has been limited to a relatively small number of products.”

Originally 364 samples were taken as part of the survey, but two samples “failed to meet the criteria” outlined in the sampling protocol and were removed from the results.

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