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 government has dismissed calls for a ban on importing meat from the European Union as the horsemeat scandal spread across the continent.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told ITV News a band would only be brought in if beef contaminated with horsemeat was found to be a "health risk".
The shadow environment secretary has said banning meat imports was a "knee-jerk reaction", after Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told BBC1's Sunday Politics show that he would consider a ban if it was a "threat to public health".
The Government is powerless to impose a ban on meat imports unless beef contaminated with horse meat is found to be a health risk, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said today.
Appearing on BBC1's Sunday Politics show, Mr Paterson was asked if he would consider a ban if tests proved there was a food safety risk. He said: "If there is a threat to public health that is allowed within the rules of the European market.
He added: "If they find there is a product which could potentially be injurious to public health, emphatically, I will take the necessary action."
The chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has called for a temporary ban on imports of meat from the EU.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Conservative MP Anne McIntosh said: "I believe there should be a moratorium on the movement of all meat until such time as we can trace the source of contamination."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said hospitals have a "responsibility" in making sure that patients are not served horsemeat, during his interview on BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
The chief executive of supermarket Morrison's Dalton Philips has told ITV News that new regular tests to check for horsemeat is "not the answer" and that "simplifying" the supply chain would be a better solution.
The Environment Secretary has issued a statement after holding an emergency meeting with bosses from leading supermarkets and the Food Standards Agency to discuss the scandal surrounding horsemeat. Owen Paterson said:
It’s totally unacceptable that customers have been buying products labelled beef, but which turn out to be horse.
People should have absolute confidence in what they are buying. The responsibility for that lies with the retailers, who need to be absolutely sure that what they’re selling is what they think it is.
– Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary
We agreed that more and tougher testing will take place. I asked them to agree to publish test results every three months through the Food Standards Agency. I made it very clear that there needs to be openness and transparency in the system for the benefit of consumers.
Horsemeat being sold to the public as beef is "fraud" and a "conspiracy against the public", the Environment Secretary said today.
Asked if there were any plans to test for traces of other meats, such as dog, Owen Paterson said:
"It may be very isolated, it might be a small number of suppliers involved in the horse trade we don't know, but I think that as we progress and we'll know more over the course of the next few weeks, we can decide what to do next".
Findus has said it will be taking legal action against its suppliers, after horsemeat was found in several of its beef products. In a statement, the frozen food company said:
Findus is taking legal advice about the grounds for pursuing a case against its suppliers, regarding what they believe is their suppliers’ failure to meet contractual obligations about product integrity.
The early results from Findus UK’s internal investigation strongly suggests that the horsemeat contamination in Beef Lasagne was not accidental.