UK food minister Heath to meet industry to discuss shoring up supply chain

UK food minister Heath to meet industry to discuss shoring up supply chain

The UK government is to meet industry officials to determine whether the supply chain needs to be placed under greater scrutiny to ensure food security in the country.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told just-food today (11 February) food minister David Heath will meet food manufacturers and retailers this week.

"There is going to be a meeting on wednesday with David Heath and representatives from the UK food industry. They will discuss what is being done - and what more can be done - to ensure the security of the supply chain," the spokesperson revealed.

The news comes as Environment Secretary Owen Paterson prepares to give a statement on expanding horse meat scandal to Parliament this evening.

Undeclared horse meat was last month detected in various own label frozen beef burgers, sold at retailers including Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and The Co-operative Group sparking an investigation from The Food Standards Agency as well as several recalls. Last week, the scandal widened when it emerged that horse meat has since been found in Findus branded frozen lasagne in the UK and in some of its products in France and Sweden.

Over the weekend, Paterson told the BBC the Government suspects fraud. The Defra spokesperson said that the police are "informed" and will take action "if evidence is found of fraud or criminality". To date, a police investigation has not been launched.