Latest horse meat fears

A drug with cancer-causing potential might have entered the food chain through horse meat slaughtered in UK abattoirs, Labour has claimed. Two batches of beef burgers contaminated with horse DNA were produced at a food factory in North Yorkshire.

Latest ITV News reports

Aldi stops selling burgers from North Yorkshire factory

Two batches of contaminated beef burgers were produced at Dalepak at Leeming Bar. Credit: ITV News

The supermarket Aldi says that it will no longer sell beefburgers from a factory in North Yorkshire where some were found to contain horsemeat.

The chain tested burgers made at the Dalepak plant for sale in its stores in the UK.

Some of the samples tested positive for tiny amounts of horse and pig DNA.

The supermarket has suspended its contract with the supplier.

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Yorkshire factory has "no traces of horse DNA"

The Food Standards Agency said tests at a Dalepak plant in North Yorkshire had found no traces of meat contaminated with horse or pork DNA.

A spokeswoman said: "The FSA has today received the results of tests conducted on samples taken from the Dalepak plant by North Yorkshire Trading Standards.

Dalepak is one of the plants that was named by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland as having supplied beefburgers to retailers that contained traces of horse and pork DNA.

North Yorkshire Trading Standards focused on the burger product lines implicated in the survey carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

They took 7 samples, comprising all the meat being used currently in the production of these lines. Neither horse nor pork DNA was detected in any of these samples.

Investigations continue into the origin of the horse and pork DNA detected in some Dalepak products produced in 2012.

– FSA spokesperson

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Horsemeat scandal 'should have been picked up in UK'

Public service trade union Unison said the presence of horse DNA in beef burgers should have been picked up by British authorities, but Government cuts to food trading and meat hygiene services mean vital safety checks are being limited.

The union said the scandal demonstrated the industry was not fit to self-regulate and criticised the "dramatic falls in levels of activity" across the food safety industry, including:

  • 29% drop in new prosecutions
  • 265 fall in total number of schedule inspections
  • 24% fall in total number of visits for enforcement purposes
National

Waitrose pulls beef burgers as a 'precaution'

Dalepak, one of the firms at the centre of the horsemeat investigation, supplies Waitrose beefburgers.
Dalepak, one of the firms at the centre of the horsemeat investigation, supplies Waitrose beefburgers. Credit: Press Association

Waitrose has become the latest supermarket to pull beef burgers from its selves after horsemeat was found in burgers made by one their suppliers.

The company said it had taken frozen burgers made by Dalepak, one of the firms at the centre of the horsemeat contamination investigation, off sale "as a precaution" when it had its accreditation suspended.

In a statement, Waitrose said its burgers had since been tested and were found to be 100% beef:

"The ingredients in our burgers are simple with all meat traceable back to British farms that we know."

"Our technical team visited the Dalepak site last week and were happy that our products were produced to our high specification and separately from other companies' products (ours are produced at 6am before other any other burgers)."

National

Irish food factory shut after horsemeat discovery

A major food factory owned by one of Europe's biggest suppliers and processors has been shut in Ireland after horse DNA was found in frozen burgers in new tests two days ago.

ABP Food Group said the suspension of all production at the Silvercrest Foods plant in Co Monaghan was the "responsible course of action".

The firm said that, following new results from the Irish Department of Agriculture, it believes the source of the contaminated material is one supplier.

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FSA: No 'cancer drug' found in horsemeat

The Food Standards Agency has dismissed claims that the horse drug 'bute' may have entered the human food chain in horsemeat.

The FSA said horses treated with the drug phenylbutazone are "not allowed to enter the food chain".

The FSA statement added: "During the recent horsemeat incident the Food Safety Authority of Ireland checked for the presence of phenylbutazone and the samples came back negative."

Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh earlier expressed fears that the drug may have entered the food chain through horsemeat slaughtered in UK abattoirs

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Agriculture minister responds to horse meat claims

Agriculture minister David Heath told the Commons the Food Standards Agency checks all meat to ensure it is fit for human consumption, following claims by Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh that carcinogens may have made their way into the food chain through contaminated horse meat.

Where positive results of phenylbutazone are found the FSA investigates and takes follow-up action to trace the meat.

– Agriculture minister David Heath
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Breaking: Fears of carcinogen in Horse meat

A drug with the potential to cause cancer in humans might have entered the food chain through horse meat slaughtered in UK abattoirs, Labour has claimed.

Shadow environment secretary and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh told the Commons she had evidence that "several" horses slaughtered in the UK last year tested positive for the carcinogen phenylbutazone.

It's after a Dalepak factory in North Yorkshire was implicated in the horse meat in beefburgers scandal last week. Bosses at the ABP foods plant in Leeming bar insisted only a trace amount was found in their products.

Several horses 'tested positive' for cancer-causing drug

Shadow Environment Secretary, Mary Creagh Credit: PA

Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said:

"I am in receipt of evidence showing that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute, a drug which causes cancer in humans and is banned from the human food chain. It is possible that those animals entered the human food chain."

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