Horsemeat: Supermarket DNA test results to-date
Published:  22 February, 2013

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published the latest industry DNA test results, showing 99% of the tested 3,599 products containing no horse DNA at or above the level of 1%.

The 35 products that were contaminated with horsemeat represent 13 products that have already been withdrawn from sale.

The veterinary anti-inflammatory drug bute has to this date not been found in any of the tested products.

At this point, the FSA's main focus is on beef products containing more than 1% horsemeat, as it believes that such a level indicates either "gross negligence or deliberate substitution of one meat for another".

FSA Chief Executive Catherine Brown, said: "The overwhelming majority of results, over 99%, have come back negative for the presence of horse DNA above the threshold of 1% - which is reassuring for consumers."

A sampling programme by the FSA is being carried out across the UK, and will provide further validation of the testing carried out.  These new test results are due to be released in March.

"We are also committed to pursuing enforcement action where we can, to ensure that those who were at fault take full responsibility for their actions. We are determined to get to the bottom of this to find out exactly what happened - and to make sure it doesn’t happen again," she added.

Additionally, the FSA has announced that the Scottish Food Advisory Committee (SFAC) of the FSA will be holding an open meeting in Aberdeen Tuesday 26 February to discuss, amongst other matters, the horsemeat incident.

The FSA encourages everyone with an interest in the matter to come and share their views in an open Q&A session.

Furthermore, contamination continues to hit the meat industry as horsemeat has now been found in burgers at two college campuses in Northern Ireland.

Agriculture minister, Michelle O'Neill confirmed that the products in question, which were supplied to the Loughry and Greenmount campuses by Eurest, tested positive for equine DNA

Birds Eye has withdrawn three ready meals as a precautionary measure today, after its chili con carne proved to contain 2% horsemeat after recent tests. The contaminated ready meal was only sold in Belgium, with the meat supplied by Belgian Frigilunch.

In a statement, Birds Eye said: "We want to reassure you from the testing we have completed that all Birds Eye Beef Burgers, Beef Pies and Traditional Beef Dinners do not contain horse DNA. Regrettably, one product sold in Belgium, Chilli Con Carne, produced by Frigilunch N.V., has tested positive for horse DNA. In accordance with our high standards, we are immediately withdrawing this product from sale in Belgium."

Sainsbury's has revealed that all tests on their processed beef products have returned negative results. A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: "Although none of our products have been implicated, in line with Food Standards Agency guidance, we have carried out a programme of around 250 additional tests on our own-label products containing beef. We can confirm that no horsemeat has been found in any of our products.

"We will not be complacent. We will continue to test our products to our own high standards, as well as participate fully in the Food Standards Agency's work to ensure the integrity of Britain's food."