Some of the UK’s best known food manufacturers have said their latest tests found no horsemeat in their products.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has submitted to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) the results of the latest batch of tests by its members for the presence of horsemeat. All of the test results submitted by FDF were negative.
The FDF said its members “have undertaken several tests on their products and are co-operating fully with the FSA”.
“We have now provided aggregated results to the FSA from the following companies: apetito Ltd, Aunt Bessie's, Birds Eye, Dr Oetker (UK) Ltd, Findus UK, General Mills UK, Mars, Nestle, Plusfoods, Premier Foods Plc,” the FDF said.
“These results will be published today by the FSA as part of the industry wide data set.
“Most of our members have already successfully completed tests on all their relevant product lines and a few additional results are expected for next week.
“The very large numbers of tests published by the FSA and carried out upstream in the supply chain eg by first processors/importers on raw materials are also contributing to reassuring consumers about the integrity of final products.”
The FDF said its members are increasing the number of audits of their suppliers of meat or meat products, conducting targeted confirmatory tracing of meat back to source, reviewing supplier accreditation and revising the proportion of meat authenticity testing as part of their due diligence programmes.
“That significant quantities of horsemeat have been found in beef products is unacceptable and it is regrettable that this situation has arisen,” the FDF said.
“Committed to providing safe, nutritious and high quality food, our members are working round the clock to make sure that you can have confidence in in the food you buy.”
Industry and the Government are conducting large scale nationwide testing after the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said undeclared horse meat as well as traces of horse and pork DNA has been found in meat products.
These include beef burgers, lasagne and bolognaise ready meal products contaminated by horse meat, and pork DNA found in a selection of meat pies labelled as Halal.
“In addition to the ongoing FSA and police investigations in this country, the UK government has been leading efforts to ensure a coordinated response across Europe,” Defra said.
“At our request the EU has agreed that tests for the presence of horsemeat throughout the food supply chain should be carried out in all countries.
"The EU and Europol also agreed with our suggestion that there should be a new intelligence sharing system to enable food authorities and Europol to coordinate investigations across the continent.”