Frozen burger sales plummet in supermarkets

Frozen burger sales plummet in supermarkets

According to new data from Kantar, released on Sky News, both frozen beef burger and ready meal sales have fallen by 43% and 13% respectively.

The data is for the four weeks ending 17th February and whilst undoubtedly attributable to consumers turning away from buying the product, is also down to availability as more and more products were withdrawn from sale.

Earlier this week Swedish furniture business IKEA withdrew all its meatballs from UK stores and stopped sales in over 20 countries across Europe after tests for horse meat were found to be positive in batch tests.

This week halal beef burgers in Lancashire school meals were found to contain horse meat and as a result all processed beef meals have been suspended by Lancashire County Council. County Councillor Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “I hope that parents and children can be reassured by the advice that this isn’t a food safety issue, however it is frankly appalling that we have found horse meat in two products which were supposedly 100% beef. These products came from manufacturers who not only carry all the correct certification but who also recently provided us with written assurances their products did not contain horse meat. Few if any local councils across the country have been as proactive as we have in testing their school meals and unfortunately the results show we were right to act on the concerns raised by what has become an international scandal. Under the circumstances, with children returning from their half term break today, we feel we have no choice but to withdraw all frozen processed beef products as a precaution until the food industry and regulators do something to restore confidence in what people are being fed.”

The county council has undertaken a wide variety of tests for horse DNA in meat products at its Preston laboratory, reporting the results to the Food Standards Agency. The first product supplied to schools that was found to contain horse meat was a cottage pie, announced earlier in February. The second was a Halal beefburger. The affected schools have been made aware of the test results and, as a precaution, the council has also suspended a halal lamb burger, manufactured on the same premises as the beefburger, from its menu.

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