A day after Nestle’s horse meat scandal embarrassment came to light with traces of horse DNA being found in its beef pasta meals, the Food Standards Agency has resolved to conduct tests over 514 products in total, including stock cubes and steak. The decision comes after Nestle’s confirmation that its UK products have no contamination. The world’s biggest food company said it had conducted tests on tests on its processed beef products in the UK and Ireland, including seven Jenny Craig products and two Gerber baby food products, which had no presence of horse meat.
The FSA announced that tests will be carried out mainly on beef-based foods that are sold pre-packed or loose, such as cafe sandwiches. Meanwhile, another horse meat discovery was made when Paragon Quality Foods, based in Armthorpe near Doncaster, supplied burgers to Whitbread which last week confirmed some of the products it had sold had been found to contain horsemeat. Whitbread operates pubs under the Beefeater Inn, Brewers Fayre brands as well as the Premier Inn Hotel chain. Paragon Quality Foods employs about 100 people and supplies burgers, doner kebabs and marinated chicken to restaurants and fast food outlets.
The testing on foods that are suspected to contain horse meat will take place in three phases. The first phase includes raw minced beef products such as burgers, minced beef and meat balls, which are being checked for horse and pork DNA. In the second phase, 140 samples of beef-based ready meals including lasagne and cottage pie will be tested. The third phase, which will begin next week, includes tests on products marketed or labelled as containing beef as a major ingredient, such as gelatine, stock cubes and beef dripping. he results of these tests will be submitted in the form of a report at the end of this month.
Regarding the tests conducted on Nestle’s UK products, Jenny Craig said, “We can confirm Nestlé has tested samples of all of its processed beef products sold in the UK and Ireland, as prioritised by the FSA … Today we have received the results of our internal tests, which have confirmed no presence of horse DNA in any of these products.”