Horsemeat found in burgers in the UK and Ireland has caused a stir and sparked debate about food handling procedures, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken out about the food controversy.
Horsemeat was found in burgers sold in Tesco in the UK and Ireland, prompting concern over how the product — which is not generally consumed in those places — came to be in food sold for consumption in supermarkets.
In response to the horsemeat found in burgers, Irish food safety spokesman Professor Alan Reilly admitted that there was no reasonable explanation behind the discovery and said:
“Whilst, there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horsemeat in their production process.”
The horsemeat found in burgers prompted similar remarks from Cameron, who remarked on the situation and called for an inquiry into food handling practices in the wake of the scandal. Cameron said:
“People in our country will have been very concerned to read this morning that when they thought they were buying beef burgers they were buying something that had horse meat in it… This is a completely unacceptable state of affairs.”
Investment analysts like Caroline Gulliver say the horsemeat found in burgers will also impact Tesco’s bottom line as the supermarket will suffer from decreased consumer trust in the revelation’s aftermath:
“The news is likely to, at least temporarily, reduce consumers’ trust in the quality of Tesco’s products which is unhelpful at a time when Tesco is trying to rebuild customers’ trust in the quality underpinning Tesco own label and Everyday Value products… It is going to be damaging (to sales), there’s no doubt about that.”
The horsemeat found in burgers at Tesco was generally in amounts considered to be low, but accounted for nearly 30 percent of the composition of the meat in at least one sample.