- 12 updates
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee chairman Anne McIntosh has raised concerns that the recent cases of food contamination discovered by Irish authorities "could be just the tip of the iceberg". Speaking to the BBC she questioned whether the FSA is fit for purpose.
"We have to ask why, so far, the FSA have not found themselves one case of cross-contamination."
She said she was "shocked" to learn that burgers could have been contaminated with horse meat for a year and warned that more cases could yet come to light.
Major retailers and suppliers will meet the Food Standards Agency (FSA) today to work out how to prevent food becoming contaminated and entering the supply chain.
The FSA ordered the meeting last week following a spate of mis-labelled or contaminated food products reaching the public.
Yesterday a company which supplied halal food found to contain traces of pork DNA was named.
Food distributor 3663 identified McColgan Quality Foods Limited, a Northern Ireland-based company, as the source of "the very small number of halal savoury beef pastry products" found to contain pork DNA which it supplied to prisons.
In a statement, 3663 confirmed that all halal products from this manufacturer have been withdrawn from supply.
3663 has not been suspended, but a "sub-contractor" has been suspended, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said. Islamic law forbids the consumption of pork.
The company which supplied halal food found to contain traces of pork DNA has been identified as McColgan Quality Foods Limited, a Northern Ireland-based company.
The company was named as the source of "the very small number of Halal savoury beef pastry products" found to contain pork DNA which it supplied to prisons.
In a statement, food distributor 3663 said:
British food wholesaler 3663 has removed all Halal products from a manufacturer after testing revealed traces of porcine protein.
In a statement, 3663 said:
The statement went on to say that 3663 welcome the opportunity to "work with the FSA and others to improve consumer confidence in traceability within the food chain".
City University's Professor of Food Policy, Tim Lang, says in tough economic times, the food industry may try to cut corners - and costs - which could have implications for public health.
The Ministry of Justice has said that it is suspending one of the suppliers of meat to prisons after it discovered that halal pies and pasties sourced from a properly halal certificated supplier may contain traces of non-halal meat.
The Ministry also confirmed that all products concerned were immediately withdrawn.
A department spokesperson said:
Food Standards Agency director Steve Wearne said it was "completely unacceptable" that pork traces were found in food that had been marked Halal.
He said the FSA had identified who had supplied the meat to the prison in question but, as "the food chain is long and complex," they had yet to identify the offending ingredient and its source.
He said they were still working to confirm whether any other products had been affected.
Major food retailers and suppliers are being summoned to an urgent meeting following a spate of mis-labelled or contaminated food products reaching the public.
The Prison Service yesterday launched an urgent investigation and after a number of Halal meat pies and pasties supplied to jails were found to contain traces of pork DNA.