Food Bills May Rise Amid Growing Meat Tests
Consumers are being warned that food bills may rise if high demand for meat testing continues.
Since the start of the horsemeat scandal, laboratories all over the UK have been inundated with requests to test different meat products.
At Worcestershire Scientific Services laboratory staff have been working early mornings, late nights and weekends to keep up with demand.
Even some of the equipment has been unable to keep up with almost continual testing.
Laboratory manager Paul Hancock told Sky News that funding is tight, explaining: "The FSA do support the laboratory to a degree but things are very very difficult.
"If the consumer wants quality food they have to be prepared to pay for a degree of policing that."
Checking a meat sample for DNA from other species takes three days and costs between £75 to £100 per sample.
The number of labs capable of carrying out proper testing though has fallen over recent years due to funding cuts. In April, Somerset County Council will close its lab.
Those that remain open operate as competitive businesses rather than sharing information, equipment and practices with each other.
Mr Hancock added: "Ten or 15 years ago the labs used to work closely together that relationship has broken down because of commercial activity and that makes life a whole lot more difficult as well."
Meanwhile, France's agriculture ministry has confirmed that horse carcasses from the UK containing the drug Phenylbutazone - known as bute - have probably ended up in the human food chain.
A spokesman for the French agriculture ministry said it was alerted by British authorities that six carcasses had been exported to France in January but that the meat had already been processed.
Some of the meat was recalled but the equivalent of three carcasses have "probably" been eaten, according to officials - although they insist the health risk is "minor".
Bute is an anti-inflammatory treatment for horses which is potentially harmful to humans and is banned from the food chain.
The latest Food Standards Agency results showed six positive results for horse DNA out of 1,133 tested beef products, but so far no UK sample has been found to contain bute.
what do you think?
I know we will advertise it as beef ! Fill it with horse then when we are found out , charge the customer more for misleading them in the first place ?????????
Once again Joe public have to pick up the bill for the wrong doing of big corrupt organizations
As the great Run DMC were once quoted in saying "It's like that, and thats the way it is".
We shouldnt be charged more for food for something that should have been untainted in the first place.its hardly the consumer thats added horse to the pie.super markets have been making vast profits on selling meals that dont do what they said on the tin or in this case package.
Shaun. Spot on. They are coming at this from the wrong direction. Supermarkets should be prosecuted for for fraud. Ignorance is no defence in law. They should have had quality control procedures in place to avoid this mess.
Well there's a suprise!!!
Here we go again is it a surprise we havta pay xtra 4 wat we shuds been already gettin
So now the FSA want to extract more money from the public, because they have been forced into doing their job. ???
ok, so they lie , cheat and steal , then they get us to pay them a bonus . they have lernt well from the bankers .
Right so let me understand this ... Food prices are already high and laced with profit for the company and now we as consumers may be forced to foot the bill for testing to make sure what it says on the label is what is acualy in the packet / tin that's like Ford charging you £500 extra and saying its to make sure its a ford you get... Here is a radical idea how about you source your meat from UK farms and take alittle profit hit so you can provide quality meat instead low quality high profit meat of from country's with little to no farming regulations that don't give a frak what they put in our meat or what animal / rodent they substitute it with
No suprise there then! :-/
I was just thinking the same thing Julie. Amazingly, we do agree on some things !! By the way, how did you get on with downloading that book ??
HI Julie, Glad to read that you op went well and that you are back to your old bolshy self as demonstrated by your fighting fit comments of the last couple of days. Excellent news
Looking like it was all just a major plot in the first place just for an excuse to charge extra in the future. This type scaremongering is getting all to common these days.
What a bunch of crooks. They sell foodstuffs labelled wrongly and then try too pass the bill to the people who were cheated for ensuring what it says on the tin is in the tin. It is time supermarkets were prosecuted for fraud to concentrate a few minds here. They have had far too easy a ride on this one blaming everyone but themselves for their lack of proper quality control
Passing the Bill onto the Public?!!!!. One word. Disgusting
Somebody has to pay for the miss management and corruption within the food processing and distribution industries. You can guarantee it won't be the perpetrators of the crime.
I feel sick.
Hmmmmm, we paid for beef, were given horsemeat instead and in future we will have to pay more for beef because this time it really will be beef.........
What is happening to all this food which is being thrown away ?
Thing is. This is all about the supermarket oligopolies having far too much power over their suppliers. They squuze them so much on price that the supplier is kinda forced on quality. As their profit margins decrease and the supermarkets profits go higher and higher. Another factor here that's important is that the meat affected is the real cheap stuff. So its the lower classes once again being duped.
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I was brought up in a small village on the fringe of the Black Country. There was a small bakery with a shop, and the old cat was usually asleep in the window amongst the merchandise, dead flies and wasps eveywhere. But to the best of my knowledge no-one died, and the bread had the reputation for being the best for miles around. We don't want to go back there, but my point is, the obsession with Health & Safety has overshadowed the need to monitor what goes into our food, with the consequence that it has come back to bite us in the backside.
No surprise! It's always the public that have to pay for incompetence and failure!