FSA investigation into horse DNA found in some burgers

Last updated:
16 January 2013
meat packaged in shop
The Food Standards Agency is investigating urgently how a number of beef products on sale in the UK and Republic of Ireland came to contain some traces of horse and pig DNA.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland reported yesterday (Tuesday, 15 January) that an analysis they carried out into the authenticity, or labelling accuracy, of a number of burger products revealed that some contained horse and pig DNA.

In particular, 27 beefburger products were analysed, with 10 of the 27 products (37%) testing positive for horse DNA and 23 (85%) testing positive for pig DNA. In nine of the ten beefburger samples, horse DNA was found at very low levels. In one sample from Tesco, the level of horse DNA indicated that horse meat was present and accounted for approximately 29% of the total meat content of the burger.

All of the retailers involved so far have removed potentially affected products from their shelves.

The FSA has been in contact overnight with the retailers and producers named in the FSAI survey and has called a meeting this afternoon with a wider range of food industry representatives to discover the extent of the potential problem and to investigate how this contamination might have occurred.