Meat sales strong in face of FMD outbreak

Sales of meat remained strong and actually rose over the weekend, retailers reported, with consumers showing no signs of concern over the foot and mouth (FMD) outbreak.

The good weather at the weekend saw consumers shopping for steaks and barbecue products regardless of the outbreak. Sainsbury's reported good sales of sausages and burgers.

A spokesman for Asda said: "We haven't seen any impact on consumer behaviour. Our meat sales were actually up over the weekend with people buying steaks and chops."

Tesco said it had seen no change in consumer behaviour either, but said it was working to reassure its customers there was no risk.

Both retailers said they were not anticipating any problems with supply. A Tesco spokesperson said: "Tesco has the UK's most robust supply chain and there is no immediate risk of meat shortages. We are doing all we can to support our British suppliers and we remain in close touch with all relevant government agencies." She added the chain also had full and robust contingency plans in place.

Sainsbury's said it was too early to make any predictions and said it was fully committed to British farming and would not be making any change in policy.