Cross-posted from Farming UK
Lancashire County Council has identified traces of horse meat imported from Hungary that was labelled as beef, the Food Standards Agency has confirmed.
The meat was imported by Hungarian Food Ltd in Preston. Investigations showed that 40kg were sold through Hungarian Food Ltd’s own market stall in Preston, and through a shop in Liverpool called Taste of Hungary.
The remaining meat has been withdrawn from sale. The meat was sold in 1kg bags labelled as ‘diced beef’.
The Food Standards Agency has notified the European Commission and the Hungarian authorities. The local authority is investigating and the meat will be tested for the veterinary drug ‘bute’.
The European Union discussed meat labelling before the horse scandal broke but member states chose the weakest rules available, according to Public Health Committee chair Matthias Groote.
“In the past we have discussed legislation on whether or not meat of different forms should be labelled, and member states have chosen the weakest option. We need to see how we can guarantee traceability and improve deterrence” he said.
In a public health debate, MEPs said member states failed to enforce EU food chain laws and highlighted a lack of ‘dissuasive sanctions’ against fraud.
“What we have now is a crisis of confidence” said Groote.
“We are getting more and more news about the impact and the scope of this labelling issue. We need to see how we can guarantee traceability and improve deterrence.”
Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg said member states are responsible for enforcing EU rules and reported that food in all EU countries was now being tested for horse DNA and traces of the painkiller phenylbutazone, or ‘bute.’ Continue reading >>
Waterloo delicatessen Taste of Hungary sold horse meat; Liverpool Echo; 23 March 2013