Horse drug found in ASDA meat

The Foods Standards Agency has confirmed that the horse drug "bute" has been found in Asda Smart Price Corned Beef.

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Asda corned beef drug scare

The Leeds-based supermarket chain ASDA is at the centre of the latest food scare. For the first time since the horsemeat scandal began traces of a painkiller used on horses has been found - and it's in their tins of corned beef.

ASDA admits it's totally unacceptable and two products have now been recalled. There's said to be little risk to the public but one expert says it shows the food industry doesn't know what's going on in the food supply chain. Chris Kiddey reports.


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Asda customers urged not to eat affected product

These are the facts that are known about the traces of 'bute' found in an Asda product:

  • The product was withdrawn from shelves on March 8th after testing positive for horse DNA over 1%. It was then tested for 'bute' in line with FSA guidelines.
  • Asda has withdrawn all corned beef products from its Smart Price range.


ASDA recall products over horse drug fears

The Yorkshire based supermarket ASDA has tonight said it is withdrawing tinned corned beef following positive tests for horse DNA in its Smart Price product. An spokesperson for the supermarket said it was also recalling its Chosen by You corned beef as a precaution.

In March 2013 we withdrew tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) after receiving a positive test for horse DNA above the 1% trace level set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Today, 9th April 2013, tests on further batches have shown a positive result for very low levels of horse medication called phenylbutazone, also known as bute, at 4 parts per billion.

– ASDA spokesperson

The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we’ve found pose a low risk to human health. They say: “Bute is not allowed to enter the food chain; however, even if people have eaten products which contain contaminated horse meat, the risk to health is very low.”

Although there is a very low health risk, we are recalling this product. This simply means that we ask anyone who has tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) in their cupboards at home to bring it back into store for a full refund

– ASDA spokesperson

The tinned Chosen By You Corned Beef (340g) product, also withdrawn in March, has not tested positive for phenylbutazone. However as a precaution it is also being recalled as it is made in the same factory.

We want you to have complete confidence in the food you buy at Asda and we are happy to refund any product you’re not 100% happy with. If you’re concerned about anything in relation to the food we sell please call us on 0800 952 0101.

– ASDA spokesperson

Click here for a full list of all Asda products withdrawn over the last two months.

ASDA corned beef found to contain horse drug

Asda withdrew their Smart Price Corned Beef on March 8 after it was found to contain more than 1% horse DNA.

The Food Standards Agency said no other Asda products are thought to be affected.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies previously said:

Horse meat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health. "Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis.

– Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies

She said the levels of bute previously found in horse carcasses meant a person would have to eat up to 600 burgers, containing 100% horse meat, every day to come close to consuming a human's daily dose of the drug.

Dame Sally added:

In patients who have been taking phenylbutazone as a medicine there can be serious side effects but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horse meat containing bute will experience one of these side effects.

– Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies

Horse carcasses in the UK need to have a negative bute test before they can enter the food chain.

Corned beef recall after bute found

Yorkshire based supermarket ASDA is recalling all corned beef from its budget range after traces of veterinary drug phenylbutazone were found in some batches.

The Food Standards Agency said "very low levels" of the painkilling medicine, known as bute, were detected in the Asda Smart Price Corned Beef.

Customers who have bought the 340g tins, with any date code, have been urged not to eat the corned beef but to return it to the supermarket.

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