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European Commission Orders New Round of Testing for Horse Meat
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have confirmed that they have been requested by the European Commission to carry out a new round of testing of beef products for adulteration with horse meat.
All member states have been asked to provide test results as a follow-up to last year’s ‘horse meat scandal’. Retail outlets, wholesale catering suppliers and cold stores will be targeted in a new FSA programme which will look to collect 150 samples of beef products from 24 local authorities from across the UK. All test results will be submitted to the European Commission by July 2014, with details of any samples testing positive for horse meat contamination above the 1% reporting level being published following laboratory confirmation.
The FSA has already increased its funding to support food authenticity testing to £2 million, but Director of Policy Steve Wearne agrees there is no room for complacency: “We remain vigilant about the threats to our food supply chain from fraudsters and we are determined that we do not see a repeat of the problems that emerged last year.”
News of the testing regime comes at a time that the FSA and industry alike are waiting for the full set of recommendations from Professor Chris Elliott’s review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks, due to be released shortly.