Why is this important?
What to do about mislabelled meat products
Date: 13 February 2013
Undeclared horse meat, as well as traces of horse and pork DNA, has been found in meat products. These include beef burgers, lasagne and bolognese ready meal products contaminated by horse meat, and pork DNA found in a selection of meat pies labelled as Halal.
Products affected with horse meat include Aldi beef lasagne and spaghetti bolognese, Tesco Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese and Findus beef lasagne sold in Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. Some essential Waitrose frozen British beef meatballs may also contain pork.
Government departments and the food industry are working to find out which food products are affected and to take action against those responsible.
Products are also being tested to check if horse meat found in ready meals contains the vets drug phenylbutazone, known as 'bute'. Animals treated with bute should not be in the food chain, in case they pose a risk to health.
The government departments responsible for food issues are the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who deal with food safety and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who deal with whether food has been mislabelled or contaminated.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards departments within local authorities are also working together with government departments to identify and inspect all food premises that process or repack beef products.
You have a right to expect food to be as it is described on the label, under the Sale of Goods Act. Food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers are all responsible to make sure food is labelled correctly. Incorrectly labelled ready meals have been withdrawn from sale.
If you have ready meals in your freezer that you are concerned about, take them back to the shop you bought them from. You should be offered a full refund for products that have been tested and found to contain something that isn’t on the label.
- Unsafe or poor quality food bought in shops
- Complaints about food labelling and advertising
- Findus customer care line to ring or email with queries about their beef lasagne
- Waitrose meat products
- Recalled Aldi meat products
- Food Standards Agency – answers to your horse meat questions
- DEFRA – processed meat products and horse meat