16:40 14 February 2013
Following an emergency meeting held in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Commission is recommending that EU countries should carry out random tests on certain beef products. This comes as part of the situation surrounding the horsemeat scandal.
It was also discussed at the summit that horsemeat in the EU should undergo tests for the drug bute, which is a veterinary drug called phenylbutazone. Based on reports, there is no proof as of time of press that meat in supermarkets has been contaminated with bute, although there are warnings that the drug is not fit for human consumption.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who attended the meeting, had previously said that some processed meat should be tested. And Prime Minister David Cameron has remarked that there should be a “full intervention of the law" for criminals who disguise beef as horsemeat.
As part of their investigation, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ordered some companies to test certain meat products for horsemeat. The results are expected back by Friday, 15th February.
Officials are warning people that eating horsemeat does not affect their health, as many countries around the world eat horsemeat regularly. The concern at present relates to whether horsemeat has been contaminated, and if there is criminal activity involved.
This follows the discovery of horsemeat in some beef products last month. In particular, many beefburgers were withdrawn from sale in certain UK supermarkets. The situation also led to horsemeat being discovered in some types of frozen lasagne.
This week, two raids were carried out by police and hygiene officials as part of the FSA’s investigations. The two sites to be raided were; the Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and Farmbox Meats Ltd, which is based near Aberystwyth in Wales.
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