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Horse Meat Scandal Timeline: Insight Into European Ready Meals Crisis Part 3

Written on:February 23, 2024
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The world’s biggest food company succumbs to horse meat contamination

February 12: FSA raids Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in West Yorkshire and Farmbox Meats, a meat plant in Wales, after suspicions emerge that horse meat is being passed off as beef for kebabs and burgers. Production is suspended until the outcome of investigations is known. Claims that the companies supplied and used horse carcasses in meat products purporting to be beef need clarification. Meanwhile, Waitrose announces withdrawal of a range of beef meatballs after tests revealed they might contain pork.

February 13: EU agriculture ministers agree to random DNA testing of processed meat products after an emergency meeting in Brussels. The members also agreed to conduct test for ‘bute’, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug for horses, which could pose a health risk if passed on to humans.

February 14: Three men are arrested in Aberystwyth and Todmorden, West Yorkshire, following FSA inspections. Police made the arrests after it emerged that a significant amount of horse meat containing bute could have been entering the European food chain for some time. It emerged from FSA investigations that while two horses were intercepted and destroyed before leaving the slaughterhouse, six were sent to France, where horse meat is commonly eaten.

February 15: Tesco releases a video consisting of its CEO’s message to its customers assuring that the supermarket chain would be adopting a more open approach in future through a new website which would offer information to customers on products testing progress for presence of horse meat.

February 19: The world’s biggest food company becomes next horse meat scandal casualty after horse DNA is found in its beef pasta meals. Identifying the supplier as HJ Schypke, a sub-contractor of JBS Toledo, Nestle apologises to customers and begins internal investigation.

February 20: After Nestle horse meat fiasco, FSA announces three-phase test on 514 products. Nestle confirms that its UK products are ‘safe’ from horse meat contamination.

February 22: Frozen foods maker Birds Eye recalls its beef-based ready-to-eat meals after discovering 2% horse DNA in one of its products named Chilli Con Carne, which was supplied by a Belgium-based company Frigilunch N.V. Apart from withdrawing all of its beef products from Belgium, Birds Eye also removed Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g, Shepherd’s Pie 400g and Beef Lasagne 400g from the UK and Ireland, as a precautionary measure.

Read More:

Horse Meat Scandal Timeline Part I

Horse Meat Scandal Timeline Part II

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