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Beef Products Contaminated with Pig Meat Withdrawn

12 March 2013

UK - Sampling of the first and second phases of the British Food Standards Agency's UK-wide survey of beef products has shown that 212 of the 224 samples taken in phase one are negative for both horse and pig DNA at or above the one per cent threshold.

For phase one, two products contained levels of pig DNA above one per cent.

So far, no products have been verified as containing horse DNA at a level above one per cent.

Preliminary tests show that seven samples, representing six different products, may contain horse DNA above one per cent and a further three may contain pig DNA above one per cent.

However, further checks are needed to verify this. Where levels over the one per cent threshold are confirmed, the FSA said it will publish details as soon as this information is received.

For phase two, one product tested to date contains levels of pig DNA above one per cent; none contain horse DNA above this level. Full results of phase two are awaited.

The three products that are confirmed as positive for pig DNA above one per cent have already been listed on the companies' websites. They are:

  • ASDA Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • ASDA Beef Cannelloni
  • Apetito Beef Lasagne

Both Asda products have been withdrawn from sale. Details on returning products are on Asda's website. Apetito has indicated that almost all of its product will have been served, but unused stock can be returned to the company.

Local authorities are investigating each case where a product is suspected of containing horse or pig above 1% and have taken steps to ensure that the product is withdrawn from sale pending confirmation of the test results.

In Germany, to date a total of 2004 samples analysed, accoprding to the latest report from teh German agriculture ministry.

Of these 1924 food samples were analysed for DNA evidence of horse meat and in all in 126 horse DNA was detected. The contamination was found in the the following states: Berlin (3), Brandenburg (7), Baden-W├╝rttemberg (11), Bavaria (9), Bremen (5), Hesse (18 ), Hamburg (4), North Rhine-Westphalia (42), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (10), Lower Saxony (9), Saarland (2) Saxony-Anhalt (6).

The majority of positive test results are, however, simply a confirmation of known cases and products, which had already been withdrawn from the market.

Whereas in the UK and France some veterinary residues have also been found on testing, the German agriculture ministry said that no residues had been found in their tests.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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