FSA reports initial species identification test results, testing expands across Europe

Testing of beef for horse DNA still is underway in the United Kingdom (U.K.), as calls to test expand throughout Europe.

Of the 2501 samples tested so far in the U.K., 2472, or roughly 99 percent, came back negative for horse DNA and 29 samples, or about 1 percent, came back positive. About 950 tests still are in progress, according to a report issued this morning by the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The positive results are associated with products already reported to FSA and already have been removed from store shelves.

Products that tested positive for horse meat also were tested for phenylbutazone, a painkiller sometimes given to horses that is not allowed in products destined for human consumption. In all cases, tests for phenylbutazone came back negative.

In January, routine testing uncovered horse and swine DNA in beef products. The discovery was the result of a probe into meat authenticity in Ireland. Of the 27 beef burgers tested, 10 contained horse DNA and 23 contained pig DNA.

The discovery sparked public outcry and concerns about meat labeling and authenticity.

Earlier this week, European Union (EU) Health Commissioner Tonio Borg announced Europe-wide DNA testing on meat products. About 6,500 samples will be tested, according to Food Safety News.

For more on this story from Neogen blog, click here.

For more information on species identification testing from Neogen, click here.

For more on phenylbutazone testing from Neogen, click here.

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