Horse DNA found in sliced meat from Romania

Horsemeat has reared its head for the first time in months, with Food Standards Agency (FSA) officials confirming that horse DNA has been found sliced cooked meat from Romania.

The FSA stated today (31 October) that routine testing by Lincolnshire County Council trading standards had detected horse DNA at a level between 1% and 5% in a batch of 320g packs described as ‘Food Hall Sliced Beef in Rich Gravy’.

The FSA said the product had been manufactured in Romania in January 2013 and supplied to Home Bargains (TJ Morris Ltd) and Quality Save stores in the UK, but had now been withdrawn from sale.

It added that the meat had tested negative for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as ‘bute’, but recommended that consumers return the product to where they bought it. “The affected batch has a ‘best before’ date of January 2016 and a batch code of 13.04.C,” said the FSA statement.

This is the first time horse DNA has been found in beef products in the UK since 19 July, when meat pies manufactured in Latvia were found to contain horse DNA at a level of more than 1%. The last FSA report on industry testing of beef products, published in October, had no positive results for horse DNA at or above the 1% reporting threshold.