The UK’s Food Standards Agency has demanded the food industry implement a “more comprehensive” meat testing programme, following news that undeclared horse meat has now been found in frozen ready meals.

Findus UK confirmed yesterday morning (7 February) its frozen beef lasagne, produced by French group Comigel, was found to contain horse meat. Comigel also produces frozen ready meals for other third parties, including Tesco and Aldi. Both retailers, who have been at the centre of the horse meat scandal since it emerged that they were selling frozen beef burgers containing horse meat, have removed Comigel-manufactured beef ready meals from the shelves as a “precautionary measure”.

The news that horse meat has entered the supply chain at more than one point prompted the FSA to insist the industry expand its testing programme.

“The FSA is now requiring a more robust response from the food industry in order to demonstrate that the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label. We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagne, and provide the results to the FSA. The tests will be for the presence of significant levels of horse meat,” FSA chair Catherine Brown said.

The deadline for these results is next Friday (15 February).


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