Horse meat which contained the painkiller bute came from a slaughterhouse in Taunton. The meat was then exported to France, where it may have entered the food chain.
Food standards agents tested 206 carcasses, and found bute in 8 of them. 6 were slaughtered at LJ Potter Partners at Stillman’s (Somerset) Ltd, Taunton and exported to France before the test results were known. A quicker, 48-hour test has now been introduced.
The health risk from eating low levels of bute is low, but it is illegal in food products, and this incident raises questions about how much bute was in the Romanian horse meat that has illegally entered the UK food chain.