Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland meat tests reveal DNA from other animals used

By Staff Reporter

Testing has revealed that meat being sold in Northern Ireland contains the DNA of different animals from those advertised.

The BBC has reported that of 665 Food Standards Agency (FSA) tests on meat from Northern Ireland, England and Wales, 145 were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat.

Some samples contained DNA from up to four different animals and others contained no meat from the animal advertised.

Lamb was the meat mostly likely to be contaminated, followed by beef and goat, while cow DNA was the most commonly found contaminant in other meat. Mince meat was the most commonly contaminated product, followed by sausages, kebabs and restaurant curries.

Samples came from 487 different locations, including restaurants and supermarkets.

A number of the samples came from Northern Ireland.

The BBC revealed that 73 of the contaminated samples came from retailers across three supermarkets. Fifty samples came from restaurants and 22 from food manufacturing or processing plants. Ostrich DNA was found in one of the samples.

The FSA said that contamination levels suggested it was deliberate, with over 1% of an animal's DNA counting as deliberate.

However, the FSA said the results were "not representative of the wider food industry".

Belfast Telegraph

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