Majority of latest DNA tests for horse are negative

Majority of latest DNA tests for horse are negative

The FSA has released its second set of test results from the food industry and over 99% contained no horse DNA at or above the level of 1%.

Products linked to samples that did contain horse DNA above 1% included Aldi’s Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese; ASDA’s Chilled Beef Bolognese Sauce; Co-operative’s Frozen 4 Beef Quarter Pounder Burgers; Findus’s Beef Lasagne (320g, 360g, 500g), Rangeland’s range of catering burger products withdrawn from sale; Sodexo’s Beef burgers, Minced Beef, Halal Minced Beef; Tesco’s Everyday Value Frozen Burgers; Tesco’s Everday Value Spaghetti Bolognese and Whitbread Group plc’s Lasagne product, beef burger product.

Overall, there have been 3634 results received from a range of manufacturers, retailers, caterers and wholesalers throughout the UK. This includes the 1133 new results published today that show six further products containing horse DNA, since the first set of industry results was announced last week.
No tests to date on samples containing horse DNA have found the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone (bute).

There have been and continue to be instances where food businesses have withdrawn products due to trace contamination levels, or on a precautionary basis; for example, where they have been produced by manufacturers that have supplied other products found to be contaminated with horse DNA.

The FSA’s main focus at this point is on gross contamination of beef products with the substitution of horse meat, where there is more than 1% horse DNA detected in a product. The Agency believes that such levels of horse DNA indicate either gross negligence or deliberate substitution of one meat for another.

The major trade organisations, representing the businesses carrying out the testing, have provided estimates of the percentage of tests completed to date. The FSA says retailers have informed it that they have completed approximately 90% of tests; manufacturers, caterers and wholesalers indicate they have completed around 80% of their tests. This includes all the major suppliers to schools, hospitals and other public institutions. A further update of industry testing results will be published next Friday.

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