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The scandal that has shaken the food industry in Britain has come to a new low. It has recently been discovered that Findus UK Beef Lasagna contained up to 100% horsemeat. Consumers are outraged and the question of how much we actually know about what goes into our foods is on everyone’s mind.
This story first started on January 17 when traces of horse DNA were found by the Food Safety Authority (FSA) of Ireland in beef burgers supplied to supermarkets by subsidiary plants of the ABP Food Group Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in Yorkshire. Liffey Meats, a company also based in Ireland, was later discovered providing supermarkets with products that had traces of horse DNA.
In light of this news, ABP Food Group suspended their contract with its Silvercrest plant in Monaghan, Ireland. Tesco, Lidl and Iceland are a few of many stores who reacted by taking ten million suspected burgers and other products off their shelves.
On January 31, Burger King admitted some burgers contaminated with horsemeat had been imported to their store. They also cut their contract with Silvercrest Foods.
On February 4, 75% horse DNA was confirmed by the Irish department of agriculture to be found in raw ingredients supplied by Rangeland Foods.
And in the consecutive days that followed the news became worse and worse.
On February 5, the FSA in Northern Ireland reported that Freeza Meats in North Ireland had around 80% of horsemeat in some of their frozen meat. Asda then withdrew all of their products that had been supplied by this company.
On February 7, Findus UK beef lasagne, produced by Comigel, was revealed to contain up to 100% horsemeat. Ready-made meals made by Comigel were taken off the shelves of Tesco and Aldi stores.
It does not look as if the scandal will go away any time soon.
Many questions are raised in the face of this disturbing tribulation. Where on the food line is the problem occurring and who is to blame for the contamination of our food?
The chief executive of the FSA, Catherine Brown, told the BBC that “In order to get to the bottom of this, we’re going to requiring every company to test every product line.”
She continued to say that criminal activity was “highly likely” to blame for the contamination of the meat products. The police have launched an inquiry to investigate whether or not this claim may be true.
As of February 7, the government has not denied that horsemeat could have been distributed to schools and hospitals.
Despite the growing number of companies and food suppliers involved in this horsemeat horror, it has been advised to consumers that they should continue eating meat products unless they are told otherwise.
But can customers really be expected to continue eating from these companies when they really do not what they are eating? How long have we been eating contaminated meat? There are still too many questions that need answering. Consumer confidence is broken and a lot needs to be corrected in order to gain it back.
Image Courtesy : J_m_wetherington