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DEFA samples meat products to ensure local meat is free from horsemeat. 5 April 2013

Integrity and trust is essential in the food chain particularly with regard to the authenticity of processed food ingredients and unfortunately the public’s confidence in the provenance of such food has been shattered by the onset of the horsemeat scandal in the UK and Ireland, and, may take a long time to recover.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s Food Safety Sampling Officer has been taking samples of locally produced meat products such as sausages, mince and burgers to ensure that they have not been contaminated with horsemeat.

All local producers had samples of various meat products taken and submitted to the Government Analyst for examination.

The Government Analyst who, to ensure accuracy of testing, had to purchase special testing kits, has reported that all products tested were free from horsemeat.

Mrs Brenda Cannell MHK member for the Environment Directorate stated “It is pleasing to get such positive results and know that we can rely on our local produce”

For more information: Brenda Cannell MHK Tel: Tel. 620410

Testing by the Government Analyst for meat species uses pre-prepared ‘kits’ containing the necessary sensitised materials and associated chemicals. These kits have a limited shelf-life and so are not held in stock in the Government Laboratory, but only ordered when testing is to be undertaken. The sudden increase in demand in the UK and elsewhere has strained the ability of kit manufacturers to meet demand and hence the delay in reporting the results

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