European Commission orders new EU-wide tests for horse meat

A year on from the horse meat scandal, which shocked the Irish beef industry, the Food Safety Authority (FSAI) has, today, confirmed details of a new round of tests on beef products for horse meat contamination.

The tests have been requested by the European Commission as part of a follow-up to last year’s horse meat incident where a number of beef products sold across Europe were found to have been deliberately adulterated with horse meat.

The European Commission hopes this new round of EU testing should give additional reassurance to consumers across Europe that the food chain is being checked for potential problems.

The testing is not based on any new intelligence about food fraud, but has been requested as part of the on-going work to ensure the problems discovered last year do not reoccur. The FSAI also confirmed that it has not carried out random testing for horse meat contamination since its initial round of testing in late 2013. However, it noted that industry has been testing on a regular basis since the scandal.

This round of testing will be similar to the tests carried out over a year ago. The number of test to be taken is in proportion to the size of the country. In Ireland’s case, 50 tests will be carried out. All Member States have been asked to submit test results. These will include raw beef products such as mince, burgers and sausages. Cooked ready meals including canned products will also be tested.

All test results will be submitted to the European Commission by July 2014.

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