WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture is increasing its species sampling and testing for all products from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Poland and the United Kingdom. The move came in response to the Europe-wide scandal of horse meat being mislabeled as beef.

Food Safety and Inspection Service personnel also will be conducting species testing on any imported beef from lots that are being tested for shiga-toxin producing E. coli. FSIS issued a notice instructing inspectors to increase species sampling for imported beef, both raw and ready-to-eat products from targeted countries.

None of the products involved in the mislabeling scandal were intended for export to the US. But many companies and brands familiar to Americans were affected by the scandal. Ikea, Nestlé S.A., Burger King Worldwide, Wal-Mart Stores, Aldi, and the Birds Eye and Taco Bell brands, unknowingly sold or served products containing horse meat labeled as beef.