Horsemeat: Asda’s IPL unveiled as supplier for meat containing bute

The Asda-owned procurement company International Procurement and Logistics Ltd (IPL) has been named as the supplier of the Smart Price corned beef, which was found to contain bute last week.

Although IPL was the supplier of the corned beef containing the veterinary drug bute, an Asda spokesperson has confirmed that it was not, however, the manufacturer.

The manufacturer can be traced to a French company named Toupnot, which claims to produce its corned beef with "selected and tested meats exclusively coming from EU-approved slaughterhouses".

The corned beef containing bute is the first meat product identified as containing the anti-inflammatory drug since the beginning of the horsemeat scandal.

A spokesperson for Asda confirmed both IPL as the supplier and Toupnot as the manufacturer and said: "IPL has worked diligently to understand and trace the source of the contaminated corned beef which entered Asda’s supply chain."

The spokesperson claimed that IPL audited all its beef manufacturers, including Toupnot, in February this year. "It has gone above and beyond Food Standards Agency (FSA) requirements and industry standards to test and trace the products it sourced for Asda.

"There’s no doubt the actions of a few have damaged the reputation of the whole industry and IPL is as much as victim as any other supplier, manufacturer or retailer involved. We have faith in IPL’s procurement model."

Asda pulled the corned beef on 8 March, after it was found to contain equine DNA of 1% or more.

The FSA claimed the product had been found to contain "very low levels of bute (four parts per billion)" and chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies had previously stated: "Horsemeat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health."

Davies added: "The levels of bute that have previously been found in horse carcases mean a person would have to eat 500-600 100% horsemeat burgers a day to get close to consuming a human’s daily dose. And it passes through the system fairly quickly, so it is unlikely to build up in our bodies."


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