This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

One in 50 horses test positive for bute

12 April 2013

The total number of horses that have tested positive for bute at UK abbottoirs since the end of January is 22 – a ratio of one in fifty.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) tested 1042 horses for the veterinary painkiller phenylbutazone as part of its new 100% testing regime.

Most of the positive tests have been found since mid-February, when ministers said no carcasses could leave abattoirs until tests had proved they are clear from the drug. However, the government says that the levels of bute present a very low risk to the public.

The figures were released to the Guardian after it emerged that supermarket Asda was recalling a range of budget corned beef because ‘very low levels of bute’ had been found in a product that had previously had traces of horsemeat.

The extra precautions on releasing carcasses after slaughter were introduced after David Heath, the food and agriculture minister, revealed that six out of eight carcasses tested in the first weeks of the scheme had tested positive and six may have entered food in France. He called the presence of bute ‘unacceptable’ and said anyone found to have broken the law would be dealt with.

Mary Creagh, the shadow environment secretary, said tougher rules must be imposed on the food industry: "A lot of these products are long life or frozen so the stick around in people's cupboards and freezers for up to a year. Every product found to be contaminated with horsemeat from the beginning of the scandal should be recalled and we should be absolutely clear about what those products are."

Creagh said the FSA should have publicised a central list of affected products that could be easily accessed by worried shoppers. "Some supermarkets have been clear about it and some have not."

More information...

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Quality coffee on the rise

After a £2.5 million investment in its Dartford site, UCC Coffee has doubled its roasting capacity and can now offer much more variety for their customers.Full Story...

Article image Industry isn’t putting its eggs in one basket

Dr Arnoud van Vliet, head of Campylobacter research group at the Institute of Food Research, looks at the Campylobacter problem and how industry can work together to solve it. Full Story...

Asda’s Simply Roast in the Bag chicken flying high with FFP

Unison against meat inspection change

World’s first stem cell burger unveiled


Article image Asda’s Simply Roast in the Bag chicken flying high with FFP

Great-tasting, succulent whole chicken, ready to be roasted in the bag with a variety of delicious added-value flavours have hit the chiller cabinets in Asda as part of their Butcher’s Selection range, with new ovenable printed packaging produced by FFP. Full Story...

Article image Snowbird management buys big ideas company

Snowbird foods has new owners. The manufacturer of fully cooked and frozen sausages, meat balls and other comminuted meat products has been bought by its management team.Full Story...

A high speed hot dog, New York style

Snowbird rides out horsemeat scandal

Report links processed meat consumption to premature death


Article image Spray and save on the glazing process

Food glazes are widely used in the bakery sector to improve the look and taste of baked products. Traditionally, this coating process has resulted in substantial waste. Technology advances mean that this is no longer the case. Full Story...

Article image Your flexible friend in the food factory

Suzanne Gill finds out where thermal imaging technology can help around the factory. Full Story...

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

A dry-ageing process improvement

Self diagnostics: an enabler for predictive maintenance