A leading food scientist says the rule change that sparked the horsemeat beef scandal affected lamb products too, and they should be tested.
Retailers and the Food Standards Agency held an emergency meeting today to decide how to proceed with the horsemeat scandal.
The government has called an emergency meeting with retailers and the Food Standards Agency to discuss the horsemeat scandal.
The results of the tests ordered in light of the horsemeat scandal are unlikely to be known until the end of the week.
Those results will come from food processors and supermarkets, many of which met with the Food Standards Agency again today.
The FSA says it will assess the results as they come in and if any are found to be a cause for concern, like the results from the Findus lasagne, they may consider publishing them earlier.
In the meantime, 28 local authorities have been selected to carry out meat tests of their own. They will be used as a sampling exercise in order to shed light on the problem nationwide.
The results of those tests, however, will not be known until April.
The FSA is meeting retailers and suppliers today, David Cameron's spokesman has confirmed, and the first "meaningful" results of a programme of product tests by retailers and suppliers should be available by Friday and will be made public.
Those tests may point to the possibility of fraudulent behaviour, the spokesman said. But he played down the chances of an import ban on meat products given that EU law only permits such a move in the case of a risk to public health. He added:
When it comes to questions of food safety, the right thing to do is to go on the expert advice, and we have had that from the FSA and the Chief Medical Officer.
The spokesman said "the primary responsibility is with the retailers and suppliers" in the horsemeat contamination scandal, plus a "responsibility on those purchasing to check with their retailers and suppliers about the steps they have been taking to ensure the correct labelling".
David Cameron's official spokesman has said the horsemeat contamination scandal is "an issue of significant public concern".
He confirmed Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt met with Mr Cameron at Downing Street this morning to discuss the problem.
"The Prime Minister will want to keep very much up to speed with what is going on," he said, adding that Mr Cameron had full confidence in Mr Paterson's response.
"Yes, the Prime Minister's view is that the Secretary of State is doing the right thing," he said.
British butchers have said they are enjoying an upturn in trade "by as much as 20 and 30%" as consumers steer clear of imported and processed products amid the horsemeat scandal.
"There has definitely been a spike in sales for the High Street butcher in recent weeks," said Brindon Addy, chairman of the Q Guild, which represents 130 butchers across England, Scotland and Wales.
He put the boom in home-grown meat sales down to a "trust issue," with confidence in cheaper meats of now-dubious content from Ireland and the continent plummeting.
"Some people are wising up," Mr Addy added. "If they buy a sausage worth tuppence, they've got to wonder what is really going into it. Horsemeat would probably be one of the better things to find in it."
Tesco is expected to reveal the results of tests on its 'Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese' early this week. The retailer stripped shelves of the product as fears spread over contaminated meat products. The product is made by French food supplier Comigel.
Legal action over the horsemeat scandal will be taken in Europe after the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson described it as "a case of fraud" against the public. The government says cases appear to be widespread across Europe, but has ruled out a ban on meat imports:
This is a case of fraud and a conspiracy against the public, this is a criminal action, substituting one material for another. If a British consumer goes into a retail store and buys a beef product, they should expect to get beef in that product, not horse.
– Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, SPEAKING TO BBC BREAKFAST
So this is a straight case of fraud and I think you will see legal actions beginning in certain continental countries today. I will be taking it up with certain ministers and also with the Commission in Europe, because this is overall a European Commission competence.
It is absolutely unacceptable that consumers are being passed off with one product when they buy another.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said the Government is powerless to impose a ban on meat imports unless beef contaminated with horse meat is found to be a health risk.
The government dismissed calls for a ban on importing meat from the European Union as the horsemeat scandal spread across the continent.
He added that farmers need better policies that help them invest, to support the produce of British meat, so that we know where the food we eat is coming from.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is expected to update MPs on the horse meat scandal amid fears that the full scale of the issue has yet to emerge.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has sought to play down any concerns that the horsemeat scandal could pose a risk to the public today, after tests were ordered on meat products for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone. A Defra spokesman said:
There is currently no evidence of a risk to human health. Owen Paterson was quite clear that while we must be prepared to find more evidence of fraud, there is not a food safety risk at present.
The FSA (Food Standards Agency) has said that unless there is advice to avoid a specific product, there is no reason for people to change their shopping habits.
The Government and the FSA are working with authorities across Europe, including police, to get to the bottom of this unacceptable situation.
I think that Owen Paterson's approach up until now of 'blaming' criminal gangs for the contamination has been rather beside the point. I think most consumers want to know is whether this meat is safe to eat and how extensive the contamination really is.
Now Mr Paterson should shed some light on that when he gives a statement to MPs in the House of Commons. He may perhaps clear up the confusion of whether the EU can ban imports of these processed meat products as well.
I understand that he has had several phone calls pencilled in in his diary with his European counterparts for tomorrow and I think that it does indicate that there may be some coordinated action pretty soon.