FSA tests reveal four more products with horse DNA

Four products have tested positive for horse DNA in the latest bout of industry results, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed.

In a third set of testing updates revealed today, the FSA said that, although the vast majority of products – more than 99% – were negative for horse DNA at or above the levels of 1%, four were positive for horse DNA.

According to the FSA, the four products were covered by 10 test results and showed horse DNA at or above the 1% threshold. The products included Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagne from Birds Eye; spicy minced beef skewers from Brakes; and ground beef from Taco Bell.

There has now been a total of 17 products confirmed as containing horse DNA at or over 1% through industry testing, while a further two products had been identified by separate tests.

No tests results confirming horse DNA were positive for the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone (bute).

The FSA said: “The FSA focus continues to be on gross contamination of beef products with horsemeat - that is, where there is more than 1% horse DNA detected in a product. The Agency believes that such levels of horse DNA indicate either gross negligence or deliberate substitution of one meat for another.

“Results have now been received from a range of manufacturers, retailers, caterers, restaurants and wholesalers throughout the UK. The initial phase of testing by industry is almost complete.

“There have been, and continue to be, occasions where businesses have withdrawn products due to trace contamination levels, or on a precautionary basis - for example, where they have been produced by manufacturers that have supplied other products found to be contaminated with horse DNA. Where further information relating to these withdrawals has been provided to the FSA, it has been included in the report.”

The FSA said it had received 5,430 test results in total, which included the 1,797 results published today.