Slaughterhouse and meat firm raided in food probe
TWO meat plants were raided yesterday under suspicion of passing off horse meat as beef for kebabs and burgers.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) accompanied by police officers entered Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and Farmbox Meats in Llandre in Aberystwyth, West Wales.
They have both been suspended pending the outcome of investigations into claims they supplied and used horse carcasses in meat products purporting to be beef.
The FSA said it had "detained" all meat found at both premises and seized paperwork and customer lists from the two companies.
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Andrew Rhodes, FSA director of operations, said: "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.
"I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue."
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "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."
Joining officials from the Food Standards Agency, he talked to the Institute of Grocery Distribution, which represents food retailers and suppliers, to discuss plans for a new regime of quarterly testing of products.