15:04 13 February 2013
An abattoir in Yorkshire and a meat plant in Wales have been raided by officials and the police with regards to allegations that beef products contained horsemeat. As a result of the raids, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has stopped operations at the two facilities.
The abattoir Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, which is located in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and a meat processing plant, situated close to Aberystwyth, in Wales, were at the heart of the raid due to accusations that horsemeat was present in beefburgers and kebabs.
A spokesperson for the FSA said: “We are looking into the circumstances through which meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs or burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse.”
FSA Operations Director Andrew Rhodes commented on the situation following the raids. He said: “I ordered an audit of all horse-producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month, and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be blatant misleading of consumers.
I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue.”
The Environment Sectretary Owen Paterson will attend a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with regards to the horsemeat situation. He said: “It is totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horse meat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity.”
The two raids are a result of horsemeat being found in beefburgers last month, which led to the withdrawal of many thousands of beefburgers from supermarkets shelves. This affected supermarkets in the UK and in Ireland, including supermarket giant Tesco among others.
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