Horsemeat: FSA sees big fall in horse DNA results

Latest Food Standards Agency (FSA) test results show a dramatic slump in positive results for horse DNA at or above the levels of 1% in beef products.

After receiving a further 19,000 test results for horse DNA on beef products, the Agency confirmed today that only three beef products contained horse DNA at or above the levels of 1%. “None tested positive for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone (bute),” it added.

According to the FSA, the positive results had been in the public domain since March, when the items – Tesco Simply Meatloaf, Aldi Oakhurst Frozen Meatloaf in Gravy and Aldi Oakhurst Frozen Meatloaf in Tomato Sauce – were taken off sale.

FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: “These additional test results show that we remain vigilant and are continuing to work with industry and local authorities so that consumers can be confident that food on sale in the UK is labelled accurately and is safe to eat. Investigations are ongoing into how this incident happened and a review process is under way to ensure that any lessons for the future are identified and implemented.”

Meanwhile, the FSA said the food industry has continued to test for the presence of horse as part of their assurance controls and more than 24,000 tests have been submitted by the industry to date. A whopping 15,000 of those tests were supplied by ABP Food Group, a processor at the centre of the scandal in the outset.

Halal

Along with an update on horsemeat testing, the FSA gave an update on pork DNA testing by local authorities, particularly on products labelled as halal.
The testing programme consisted of three phases, with DNA tests carried out on 514 beef products. According to the FSA, testing for horse and pork DNA will continue to be carried out by local authorities as part of routine food control work.

It said: “However, the 1% reporting limit still applies and enforcement officers will take action where positive samples are identified above this level, or at any level for contamination of halal products.”

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