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FSA Publishes UK Industry Test Results on Beef Products

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FSA Publishes UK Industry Test Results on Beef Products

FSA Publishes UK Industry Test Results on Beef Products
February 15
16:35 2013

The Food Standards Agency has published the first set of industry results from beef products that have been tested for the presence of horse DNA.

Of the 2,501 total results, 2472 (almost 99%) were negative for the presence of horse DNA at or above the level of 1%. 29 samples, relating to seven products, were positive for the presence of undeclared horse meat at or above a level of 1%. At least 950 tests are still in progress.

The 29 positive results all relate to seven products that have already been reported and where the food business and the FSA have already taken appropriate action to remove the products from sale and notify consumers.

The FSA has been working with trade bodies in the food industry to collate these results as quickly as possible, to get an accurate picture of the testing being carried out across the UK food chain.

This testing follows the statement by FSA Chief Executive Catherine Brown earlier in the month, where she announced that the food industry had been instructed to conduct authenticity tests on their composite beef products, such as burgers, lasagnes and meatballs, in light of the recent horse meat issue.

The samples were carried out on both raw ingredients and final products, and taken from a range of manufacturers, catering suppliers, wholesalers, producers and retailers across the UK.

Where products have been found to contain horse DNA, they have been tested for the presence of veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as bute. All of the tests for bute have come back negative.

FSA Chief Executive Catherine Brown comments: “Since this incident began on 16 January, businesses have been carrying out a large number of tests. We said that industry should share those results with us, and the public.”

The results so far date from when businesses began their testing four weeks ago.

She adds: “It’s encouraging that we have received so many results from industry so quickly, which reaffirms their commitment to working with us to address the serious issue of consumer confidence in the UK food supply. More important for consumers, it shows that in the vast majority of cases the results so far are showing that no horse DNA is present in the foods tested. But this is still far from the full picture and we expect industry to continue to supply us with regular updates on their testing regime.”

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