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Food Safety Focus (80th Issue, March 2013) – Food Incident Highlight

Horse Meat in British Beef Lasagne

Last month, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) issued a food alert after receiving notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that a British company detected horse DNA in its beef lasagne products. The CFS alerted the trade and conducted sales checks at retail outlets. The affected products were voluntarily recalled by the importer in Hong Kong .

The affected beef lasagne product
The affected beef lasagne product

Since the first report of the incident, adulteration of beef products with horse meat and other meats have been reported in a number of European countries. National food safety authorities of a number of countries have launched investigation into the issue. So far, there has been no evidence that the consumption of beef products adulterated with horse meat would pose a food safety risk to human health.

Food safety authorities in United Kingdom and Ireland have ordered food businesses to test their beef products. All products with positive results have been withdrawn from the market. The CFS will continue to closely monitor the development of the situation and liaise with relevant overseas food safety authorities on the appropriate actions to be taken.