LONDON – Officials with the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency and local police raided two meat plants on Feb. 12 in relation to the scandal involving the selling of horse meat as beef. The plants were the Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse and Farmbox Meats Ltd.
Executives with Peter Boddy allegedly were selling horse meat raw materials to Farmbox, which were in turn made into kebabs and burgers and sold as beef.
“I ordered an audit of all horse producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers,” said Andrew Rhodes, FSA director of operations. “I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue.”
Owen Paterson, UK environmental secretary, added that, “This is absolutely shocking. It’s totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horse meat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity.”
Officials with the European Commission are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the scandal, which it appears extends throughout the European supply chain. On Friday, Feb. 15, all companies in the United Kingdom are required to submit authenticity tests to determine the scope of the food fraud.
To date, the Aldi, the Findus Group and Tesco have initiated recalls after finding horsemeat blended in prepared beef products such as lasagna.