Horsemeat scandal: New cases surface as higher costs loom
By Jay Keller
The Food Standards Agency said on Friday that new testing through Feb. 15 uncovered six additional products containing horse DNA in 1,133 samples from manufacturers, retailers, caterers and wholesalers throughout the U.K. ( Complete FSA Findings )
Additionally, two more positive cases were included in the FSA report which surfaced outside of the formal testing program or from local reports.
The agency also said that no tests to date on samples containing horse DNA have found the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone which is also commonly known as “bute.”
The FSA said that overall, 35 of 3,634 results contained horse DNA through the first two phases of testing and that all products have been named and withdrawn from sale.
Europe’s horse meat scandal is likely to result in higher costs for smaller food producers and manufacturers, financial data analyst Fitch Ratings said on Friday.
Larger retailers and wholesalers will be less affected since beef products represent a portion of their brand.
Smaller manufacturers of frozen food and ready-to-eat-meals will be more impacted by the cost of tighter health regulations not to mention the tarnished image of a brand.
“Ultimately, there is a problem of reputation and trust in certain meat product categories and a few brands associated with this scandal which can take some time to rebuild,” Fitch says.
The outlook on future sales in the U.K. and Europe remains uncertain, according to the ratings firm, especially since sales of some frozen meat products have dropped and consumers say they are less likely to buy these products in the future.
Products linked to samples that contain horse DNA since the second FSA report on results of industry testing of meat products were mainly frozen burgers and pasta dishes that contained beef supplied by a third party.
While there have been no concerns about beef products distributed in the U.S, consumers are likely paying closer attention to how the fraudulent labeling of beef products will play out across the pond.
Several states in the U.S. have laws aimed at preventing the slaughter of horses for human food.
Although slaughter of horses for human consumption ended in the U.S. in 2007, advocates continue to back Congressional legislation to ban the practice permanently.
More Horse Meat Scandal Articles:
Horse meat scandal: With Nestle recall, European customers trust less (February 19th, 2013)
Burger King says no horse meat in burgers; Tesco drops U.K. beef supplier (February 4th, 2013)
Burger King drops U.K. beef supplier over horse-meat scandal (January 24th, 2013)