Tesco, the gift that keeps on giving

A toothy horse


Don’t eat me… every bit  helps!
(Moan– Ed)

As embattled UK retailer Tesco are finding to their cost, there’s no publicity like bad publicity.Up to 20% traces of horse meat found in Tesco and Burger king burgers have, according to The Grocer magazine, been traced back to suppliers in Poland.

Ireland’s agriculture minister Simon Coveney said he was “confident” the findings showed the product was indeed the source of horse and pig DNA found in burgers made at ABP Food Group’s Silvercrest plant.

What we don’t yet have is a name – we are only told the source of the contamination was not ABP’s own Polish subsidiary in Poznan. Both pig and horse DNA have been found in burgers.

However according to UK opposition party spokesperson for Labour, Shadow Environment Secretary and Wakefield MP Mary Creag, “A drug with the potential to cause cancer in humans might have entered the food chain through horse meat slaughtered in UK abattoirs.” The MP  told the Commons she had evidence that “several” horses slaughtered in the UK last year tested positive for the carcinogen phenylbutazone.

This comes after only a week after a Dalepak factory in North Yorkshire was implicated in the horse-meat-in-beefburgers scandal.

Agriculture minister David Heath told the Commons the Food Standards Agency checks all meat to ensure it is fit for human consumption.

Ms. Creagh told the minister,”I am in receipt of evidence showing that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute, a drug which causes cancer in humans and is banned from the human food chain.” She asked, “is it possible that those animals entered the human food chain?

Creagh also asked if Mr. Heath was aware of the cases and the minister told her, “the Food Standards Agency carry out checks in slaughterhouses to ensure that equine animals presented for slaughter are fit for human consumption in the same way as they do for cattle, sheep and other animals.

“In addition, the FSA carry out subsequent testing for phenylbutazone and other veterinary medicines in meat from horses slaughtered in this country.”

Ms. Creagh questioned whether that meant Mr Heath was aware of the issue. “I’m astonished that you have not raised this and I think the public have a right to know,” she said.

The full story’s available to read from your favourite current affairs vendor, or on the ITV News site.

Spanish supermarkets are now found to have burgers containing horse DNA.

Organizacion de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) has tested 20 fresh and chilled beef burgers on sale in Supermarkets across Spain and found Horse DNA in 10% of samples. A spokesperson for OCU said samples were found in Aliepende burgers sold in Ahorramas supermarkets and in Eroski’s own label “value burgers”.

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