Belfast Telegraph

Test shows some Northern Ireland meat had up to four animals in it

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

The BBC has reported that out 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 animals that were 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 as 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. 50 samples came from restaurants and 22 from food manufacturing or processing plants.

Ostrich DNA was found in one of the samples.

The majority of samples were tested for common food DNA such as cow, pig, sheep, goat, horse, chicken and turkey.

The FSA said that other animal DNA could have been prevent but not identified during testing as it was not being looked for.

Local authorities gathered the samples from businesses before sending them for analysis, this data was then sent to the FSA.

The FSA said that the level of contamination present suggested it was deliberate, with over 1% of a animal's DNA counting as deliberate.

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

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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