Holland meat recall in Europe

Holland has recalled 50,000 tonnes of meat sold as beef across Europe that may contain horsemeat, according to the Associated Press.

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Labour: FSA may not have visited all horsemeat plants

It is still not clear if investigators from the Food Standards Agency have visited some cutting plants where horsemeat is highly suspected of being stored, Labour's shadow environment secretary has said.

Mary Creagh said the Government needs to be clearer about how its own investigations into the scandal are progressing with different criminal gangs operating across Europe.


Asda corned beef customers 'unlikely to fall ill'

The Food Standards Agency has said it will continue testing products "until there's nothing left to find" after the veterinary painkilling drug phenylbutazone - or bute - was found in Asda Smart Price Corned Beef.

The agency's director of operations Andrew Rhodes said customers should not eat the corned beef but added anyone who does is very unlikely to fall ill.

He advised customers to return the product to the supermarket to receive a full refund.

Labour: Bute in corned beef 'deeply worrying'

It is deeply worrying that bute, a drug banned from the human food chain, has been discovered in one brand of corned beef.

This product was withdrawn from sale on March 8 yet has only been formally recalled now, after testing positive for bute, meaning people could have unwittingly been eating meat containing this drug for the last month.

This exposes the weaknesses in the Government's handling of the horsemeat scandal where products were withdrawn but in some cases not tested either for horsemeat or bute. The interests of the consumer should have been put first.

– Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh

Asda: Bute detected as part of ongoing testing process

Asda said its announcement that traces of 'bute' have been found in one of its products is part of its commitment to keep customers up-to-date on its product testing regime.

The supermarket says its has carried out "more than 700" tests since news of the horsemeat scandal broke. A statement released today said:

In March 2013 we withdrew tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) after receiving a positive test for horse DNA above the 1% trace level set by the Food Standards Agency.

Today ... tests on further batches have shown a positive result for very low levels of horse medication called phenylbutazone, also known as bute, at 4 parts per billion.

The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we’ve found pose a low risk to human health ...

– asda statement


Asda customers urged not to eat affected product

These are the facts that are known about the traces of 'bute' found in an Asda product:

  • The product was withdrawn from shelves on March 8th after testing positive for horse DNA over 1%. It was then tested for 'bute' in line with FSA guidelines.
  • Asda has withdrawn all corned beef products from its Smart Price range.

Chief medical officer: 'Bute' poses 'very low' risk

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has previously said that 'bute' poses only a very low risk to humans. She said:

Horse meat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health.

'Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis.

The levels of bute that have previously been found in horse carcasses mean that a person would have to eat 500 - 600 one hundred per cent horsemeat burgers a day to get close to consuming a human's daily dose.

And it passes through the system fairly quickly, so it is unlikely to build up in our bodies.

– Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer

Asda recalls corned beef products over traces of 'bute'

Asda has recllaed all corned beef products in its Asda Smart Price range Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Asda is recalling all corned beef products from its budget range after traces of veterinary drug phenylbutazone were found in some batches.

The Food Standards Agency said "very low levels" of the painkilling medicine, known as bute, were detected in the Asda Smart Price Corned Beef.

Customers who have bought the 340g tins, with any date code, have been urged not to eat the corned beef but to return it to the supermarket.

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