February 7, 2013 / 10:26 PM / 5 years ago

Britain's Food agency seeks stringent tests on beef products

* Tests ordered after horse meat found in beef

* Horse meat not harmful, but supply chain questioned

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s horse meat scandal has prompted the Food Standards Agency to demand a more stringent meat testing programme from UK’s retailers.

The agency has demanded that food retailers and suppliers test all beef products such as burgers, meatballs and lasagne and present their findings to the agency by February 15.

Britain’s food industry has been rocked by an alarming rise in incidents of retailers recalling their beef products after tests revealed the presence of horse meat in them.

Investigations into suppliers have been launched in recent weeks after revelations that beef products sold at major British supermarkets including Tesco and fast-food chain Burger King contained horse meat.

Smaller retail chains Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have also sold beef products found to contain horse DNA.

Findus, a UK-based frozen food and seafood company, on Thursday admitted that company’s beef lasagne, contained horse meat.

Findus had recalled its beef lasagne from retailers earlier in the week on advice from its French supplier, Comigel.

Food safety experts say horse DNA poses no added health risks to consumers, but the discovery has raised concerns about the food supply chain and the ability to trace meat ingredients.

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