Britain’s top grocers have agreed to publish results of industry testing of meat products following a consultation with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), it has been revealed today.
Supermarkets, suppliers and producers will now undertake standardised sampling and testing to ensure that “an agreed level of DNA” is present within meat products as the contamination scandal continues to unfold.
Last week, it was discovered that halal products containing pig DNA were supplied to UK prisons, a new development in the contamination scandal that has seen suppliers to top grocers Silvercrest and Rangeland Foods cease production after significant percentages of horse DNA were found in their beef burger products.
Attended by Food and Farming Minister David Heath, the meeting sought to address how to maintain consumer confidence in food labelling accuracy and ensure transparency.
FSA CEO Catherine Brown said of the meeting: ‘I am pleased that we have been able to agree a way forward to maintain consumer confidence in the food that people eat.
“We need to move swiftly to get this work under way to reassure consumers.’
Such a move will be welcomed by consumers after it emerged last week that The Co-op Food and grocer Asda had also been implicated in the scandal by stocking burgers containing traces of equine DNA.
Commenting on the scale of the problem and the importance of reaching a solution, Heath said: “This is a shared problem, and it needs shared solutions.
“Food businesses’ agreement to give regular updates on meat testing is a significant move that will give consumers confidence in what they’re buying.
“It’s now important that the industry starts sharing this information as soon as possible.’