Horse Meat Scandal: UK Consumers Advised To Keep Eating Meat Products

UK consumers have been advised to not throw away frozen meat products as the scandal over horse meat in burgers and lasagna escalates.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said it has “no reason to suspect that there’s any health issue with frozen food in general, and we wouldn’t advise people to stop eating it.”

That sentiment has been echoed by Food Minister David Heath, who told BBC News that consumers should continue eating meat unless told otherwise:

“The FSA says there is no reason to suppose there is a health risk and therefore the advice is to carry on with normal shopping habits until you are told otherwise.”

The investigation into the presence of horse meat in everyday products is underway, with the FSA ordering UK firms to test all processed beef foods. Government representatives will hold a summit with heads of meat retailers and suppliers on Saturday.

In recent weeks, numerous frozen meat products have been found to contain quantities of horse meat. In extreme cases, said products contained 100% horse meat.

Food giant Findus is one of the biggest names caught up in the scandal. The FSA has confirmed Findus tested the meat in 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 meals in which it contained between 60% and 100% horsemeat. The meals have been withdrawn from sale.

Supermarket chain Tesco placed full-page apologies in British newspapers after it was discovered it had sold beefburgers that contained horse meat. Burger King also admitted trace amounts of DNA from horses could be found in some burgers sold by the chain.

Speaking to BBC News, FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said:

“We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beefburgers, meatballs and lasagne, and provide the results to the FSA.”