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FSA boss says contamination of more meats cannot be ruled out
‘It is not lost on retailers that they need to test significantly across this product range,’ Catherine Brown says
She admits she wouldn’t eat a Findus lasagne until it is tested further
Results on all ‘value’ beef products due back by Friday
By MARTIN ROBINSON
As traces of horseflesh continue to be found in more products claiming to be beef, supermarkets have now been told to start testing chicken, pork and other meats for contamination.
The head of the Food Standards Agency has demanded that once all processed beef meals have been analysed, retailers will have to look at their other products.
But despite the Government and the Chief Medical Officer maintaining yesterday that horse-contaminated meals are safe, FSA boss Catherine Brown has admitted she would not eat a Findus lasagne herself after tests revealed it contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat.
Concerns: There are worries that processed chicken or pork sold in supermarkets could also be mixed or injected with other meats, prompting the FSA to ask for more testing
Meanwhile, there are now growing concerns that chicken or pork may be minced with others to bulk it out.
Items like chicken breasts could also be injected with cheaper meats to make them bigger and more valuable, experts say
‘It is not lost on retailers that they need to test significantly across this product range, across wider meat-based product ranges,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
‘At the moment we are getting them first to focus on “comminuted” [minced] beef, meat balls, spaghetti, beef burgers – but there is a real sense from industry that they are thinking about the wider food chain.’
Now Tesco admits its bolognese is made of horsemeat: Supermarket giant reveals ‘Everyday Value’ dish contained up to 100% horseflesh
It came as last night Tesco admitted the ‘minced beef’ in its frozen bolognese is up to 100 per cent horsemeat.
The value range ready-meal was made by Comigel, a French firm also linked to contaminated products at Findus and Aldi.
Horses slaughtered in Romania are thought to have been used by Comigel to make meals distributed across Britain and Europe, raising fears the problems are more widespread than first thought.
Concerns over the composition of other processed meats have increased as mafia gangs are suspected of orchestrating an ‘international criminal conspiracy’ worth millions of pounds by passing off horsemeat as beef.
Contaminated: The Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese has been found to be up to 100% horsemeat
Hidden: Findus confirmed on February 7 that the company’s beef lasagne contained horse meat and is awaiting further results to see if it also contains horse drug Bute
Mobsters from Italy and Poland are believed to be behind the illegal trade which has led to British consumers eating horse when they believed they were buying beef.
The gangs are said to intimidate vets and workers in slaughterhouses and food production plants into signing off cheap cuts of pork and horse as beef.
Under fire: Environment Minister Owen Paterson was yesterday accused of not getting a grip on the horse
Experts say there is no reason why the same scam would not apply to other products, which will unsettle various religious groups unable to eat pork or beef.
There have also been concerns that the horse meat used in burgers, lasagne and bolognese sold in the UK is contaminated with veterinary drugs, such as Bute.
Bute is banned from the human food chain because it can cause aplastic anaemia, which is a type of leukaemia.
There has been particular focus on the Findus lasagne range.
Despite maintaining that those who had eaten Bute-contaminated food, if it exists, was not ‘a huge cause for concern’, Miss Brown said: ‘I wouldn’t eat Findus products that we are awaiting the Bute tests on – but anything else is fine to eat.
‘If you were to discover you had eaten Bute there would not be cause to be hugely concerned. However we are absolutely clear that we don’t want to be putting it regularly into the food chain.’
All major supermarkets will have to publish test results for their processed beef ‘value’ products by Friday, but will then have to test higher-end luxury ranges ‘as soon as possible’, an FSA spokesman told MailOnline yesterday.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, faced accusations that the Government has mishandled the crisis during a statement to MPs yesterday.
Ministers and the Food Standards Agency took three weeks before ordering comprehensive testing of processed beef products sold in the high street and served up in schools, hospitals, prisons and other public institutions.
Mr Paterson suggested the horse contamination was the result of an international criminal conspiracy and that police in Europe and the UK are involved in the investigation.
His Labour shadow, Mary Creagh, accused him and fellow ministers of incompetence and reported claims that up to 70,000 horses in Northern Ireland are unaccounted for and may have ended up on the dinner plates of unsuspecting families.
She added: ‘It is very convenient to blame the Poles and the Romanians but so far neither country have found any problems with their beef abattoirs.’
She said the lack of information from the Government had been a ‘disgrace’ and warned that the public’s confidence in the food chain was ‘sinking like a stone’.
Culled from – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2277380/Horsemeat-scandal-Chicken-pork-tested-says-head-FSA.html#axzz2Kg6rFCnI