Horsemeat In Home Bargains And Quality Save
A batch of canned sliced beef that was found to contain horse DNA has been withdrawn from sale at two chains in the UK.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the product was manufactured in Romania in January 2013 and supplied to Home Bargains (TJ Morris Ltd) and Quality Save stores in the UK.
Its statement confirmed the 320g packs were described on the label as 'Food Hall Sliced Beef in Rich Gravy' and contained between 1% and 5% horse DNA.
Its presence was identified during routine testing carried out by Lincolnshire County Council trading standards officers but tested negative for the presence of the veterinary painkiller phenylbutazone, known as 'bute'.
The cans were withdrawn, the FSA said, because horsemeat was not identified in the ingredients list.
While the affected batch - which had a 'best before' date of January 2016 and a code of 13.04.C - has been withdrawn from sale, the FSA said customers who had bought any cans could return them to the store of purchase.
The revelation revives painful memories for the grocery industry following the public outcry earlier this year over the presence of horsemeat in everyday products.
Horsemeat contamination was first revealed in January by officials in the Irish Republic and the resulting food crisis then spread across Europe as consumers demanded to know what was actually in the products they were buying.
Several supermarket products and school dinners across the UK were found to contain horse DNA - resulting in plunging sales of many readymade meals and items such as burgers.
A report by a Committee of MPs in July criticised the testing regime but acknowledged that horsemeat contamination was limited to a "relatively small" number of beef products - with 99% of tests finding no evidence of equine flesh present.
They demanded the FSA ensure that labelling gave consumers the information they needed.