British consumers have access to "perhaps the safest food in the world" after the horse meat scandal, according to a food expert.
Barbara Gallani, from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) told Daybreak the Government acknowledged there were "some vulnerabilities, some areas where consumers and business are exposed", which they were dealing with after the horse meat scandal.
"The changes that have been put in place are quite wide-ranging; first of all there are more announced audits in businesses. The testing regime has been reviewed, informed by risk assessments that are now based on a much broader range of data.
"What we have learned is a much better sharing of data and intelligence, to make sure we know where the risks are."
Responding to a study by Which? that highlights the "worrying decline" in local authority food checks a year on from the horsemeat scandal, the Local Government Association said the ultimate responsibility for food safety lies with manufacturers, retailers and suppliers.
Food supply chains need to be examined and a network of analysts must be set up if the UK is to avoid another horse meat scandal, an influential MP has told Daybreak.
Head of the environment, food and rural affairs committee, Anne McIntosh, said the horse meat scandal had exposed security issues in Britain's food supply chain.
"If you look at the distance that some of the food was travelling that goes into these processed foods - a. It is a false economy, b. The traceability is much more difficult to secure," she said.
"I think we have to accept that retailers are under huge pressure to provide cheap food," Ms McIntosh added.
Sales of beef products fell by nearly 3% in 2013, according to the latest figures from analysts Kantar.
- The number of frozen burgers and frozen ready meals sold fell by 7.2% and 7.6% respectively.
- Pork sales also declined.
- Sales of lamb soared by 14.2%
There is a "huge variation" in food hygiene standards across the UK, according to a Which? investigation launched in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
Food testing by local authorities fell by 6.8% over the past year, the group found.
The investigation by the consumer group into 395 local authorities across the UK used Food Standards Agency data and found:
- Bexley in London was the poorest performing local authority, with five other London councils in our bottom 10 (Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Richmond upon Thames and Southwark).
- Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire was rated as the best performing local authority.
- No official hygiene sampling was carried out at all by Bexley, Christchurch, Isles of Scilly, Medway, Tamworth, West Lindsey and West Yorkshire in 2012/13.
- The overall testing rate fell by 6.8% in 2013.
- Testing for labelling and presentation fell by 16.2%
Almost one third are disillusioned with their supermarket after the horse meat scandal at the beginning of last year, a poll for Daybreak has revealed.
A One Poll survey found almost one third no longer had faith in supermarkets after traces of horse DNA were found in Tesco value burgers in mid-January 2013.
More than a third now spent extra time checking the contents of their food, the poll revealed.
A further 25% had stopped buying value food products altogether.
The Food Standards Agency has announced that is has lifted the suspension against Farmbox Meats Ltd near Aberystwyth. They say the decision means they can now operate under 'conditional approval.'
The decision to restrict work at the plant was made in February at the height of the horse meat scandal. The owner of Farmbox Meats has always denied any wrongdoing.
Horse meat burgers are on sale today in London's Borough Market. The market, a favourite of Jamie Oliver's, assures customers that there is "no beef" in the burgers.
A nursery in the South Wales Valleys and a nursing home in Gwent both bought the cottage pie from Castell Howell wholesalers.
The pie was made by Oak Farm Foods; five customers in total are believed to be affected.