“Tougher” tests on beef products agreed

FOOD SECRETARY Owen Paterson has told Sky News that an “international conspiracy” could be at the centre of the horse meat scandal.

  • LACA confident that school food not contaminated


His comments came following an emergency meeting with food retailers and distributors today, February 9.


At the meeting it was agreed that “more and tougher testing” would take place with results published every three months through the Food Standards Agency.


In a statement, Paterson said: “I called the major retailers and food distributers in today to agree a clear plan of urgent action to deal with the problem of horsemeat in processed beef products. I told them I expected to see meaningful results from the testing they’re currently carrying out on their products by the end of the week.”


Meanwhile, the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) has carried out a survey of its members and found “no evidence to suggest that the school catering industry has been affected by the current situation”.


A statement on its website read: “Following further developments that have been highlighted in the media over recent days, the evidence so far suggests the contamination of food products is specific to the retail/consumer market and not to the supply to the catering trade/food service market, which provides food to schools.”


While the horse meat contamination appears to be confined to the retail food sector, traces of pork DNA have been found in halal pies and pasties supplied to prisons.