A year on from the horse meat scandal tests have found that still a large number of meat products are contaminated. And an expert has warned that this ‘is just the tip of the iceberg’.
The study tested around 105 samples of which more than forty showed traces of meat from other animals. In some lamb curry that was tested only beef and turkey was found.
Ellen Billet, Director of Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research , says that this shows that there is still a huge issue of fraud and underlines the current lack of labelling.
“People do feel cheated and misguided. However this is a widespread issue in the UK and it is clear that a large number of products do contain things that are not specified on the label.”
Food experts say that horse meat is not a risk on its own. However the Food Standards Agency says that they are mainly focusing on horse traces in beef meat, because of the dangers of certain drugs they could contain. If animal have been illegally sold not for the sole purpose of slaughter, their meat could contain the veterinary drug phenylbutazone ‘bute’.
Professor Ellen Billet says horse meat contamination was ‘ just the tip of the ice berg’ and there is a widespread of cases of miss-labelling. At the moment over a quarter of meat sold in the United Kingdom is imported, which could increase the risk of fraud.