Asda recalls lamb

Asda and its supplier Welsh Country Foods have been forced to recall a number of lamb products which mistakenly entered the food chain.

The retailer is appealing to customers who may have bought the affected meat not to eat it, but return it to their local store.

The withdrawal was issued following guidance from the Food Standards Agency after meat entered the chain from 142 lambs which had been treated with veterinary products which had then not been given enough time to pass through the animals system prior to slaughter. Up to 14 product lines were affected in Asda stores, the company said.

The FSA states that the "likelihood of people eating the meat from the affected part of the animal is very low." However studies have indicated that repeated exposure to this veterinary product has caused sickness and other effects in laboratory animals.

WCF, part of the Grampian Country Food Group, said it is conducting a withdrawal of all the products potentially relating to these lambs and has advised its customers who may have received any of the potentially affected products of this situation.

Trevor Hanger, managing director of Welsh Country Foods said, "We have been fully co-operating with the Food Standards Agency over this matter. We are confident that our traceability records have identified all the likely destinations for this lamb. Following guidance from the FSA we have contacted all of our potentially affected customers of the situation and have instructed them to withdraw these products from sale."

He added: "We are conducting a full and thorough review of our lamb procurement process. As part of our procurement policy it is our stated intention to purchase lambs direct from farm when and where possible, reducing our reliance on livestock markets."