More tests for horsemeat in food under way

More DNA tests for beef across Europe are under way following last year’s investigations which revealed some 4.6 per cent of examined products contained horsemeat.

The EU Commission announced on Friday that it will carry out this second round of tests to see if horsemeat is being passed off as beef, after a food scandal last year eroded public confidence in safety standards.

This is the second time the EU Commission is co-ordinating such a control plan to find out if horsemeat is still being fraudulently added to products labelled as beef. The first round of testing, which was carried out in 2013, revealed that approximately 4.6 per cent of products sampled contained undeclared horsemeat.

The Commission treated the issue as one of fraud rather than public health, but the scandal attracted huge attention across Europe as it highlighted the extent of industrialisation in food production and how difficult it is to enforce standards.

“Although there have not been any public health implications in connection with this food fraud, there has been a very clear reaction from consumers following this scandal that controls need to be stepped up,” the Commission said in a statement.

The 28 EU member states will now set their own testing timetable but the Commission said it aims to publish the results in July.

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