Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Horsemeat found in tinned beef

The presence of horse DNA was found during routine testing carried out by trading standards officers

Horsemeat has been found in tinned beef sold in Northern Ireland, it was revealed.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said equine DNA has been detected in canned beef product which was manufactured in Romania.

Officials said the Food Hall Sliced Beef in Rich Gravy, sold in Home Bargains stores in Northern Ireland, has been withdrawn from sale. The discount retail chain has 10 outlets in the region and specialises in homeware. It sells a limited range of branded food lines including tinned meat and fish.

The FSA said the presence of horse DNA was found during routine testing carried out by Lincolnshire County Council trading standards officers.

The product, made in January this year, contained between 1% and 5% horsemeat.

The tinned product did not contain any veterinary painkiller bute, which can be harmful to humans.

An FSA spokesman said: "The FSA has been informed that a batch of canned sliced beef that was found to contain horse DNA has been withdrawn from sale.

"The affected batch has been withdrawn from sale. If you have this product stored you are advised to return it to where you bought it. The affected batch has a best before date of January 2016 and a batch code of 13.04.C."

A spokeswoman for TJ Morris Ltd, which owns Home Bargains, said: "As soon as we were made aware that the Food Standards Agency had found traces of horsemeat DNA in the Food Hall Sliced Beef in Gravy, it was removed from sale immediately.

"The affected batch was tested and the results indicated that a diminutive amount of horse DNA was present in the product - between one and 5% was found to be included.

"The FSA's findings relate to just one batch of the product, which was produced in January 2013 - before horsemeat was found in a number of UK products. We have since had other batches of the same product tested, which were found to contain no traces of horsemeat.

"We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that our quality control is of the highest standard and extremely thorough. We are already liaising with this supplier to ensure that an even more robust process is in place moving forward."

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