Saturday, February 9, 2013

Stop Horseing Around With Our Food!

Neigh, This Is Not True!
by Nick Ashton, CEO/Founder, Tracometry Group of Companies.

Food companies once had Trust and Respect for their customers and vice a versa. Is this the new idea to rip the customer off and make off with the money? Ultimately having no concern that you might make them ill?

Where do you stand?

It is about being caught supplying Horse Meat for public consumption and illegal in many parts of the world.  Especially when you dupe the buyer!

Burger King denied they had even sold horse meat for two solid weeks and has now come clean.

Findus Foods has been caught selling horse meat as burger meat is frozen foods.   100% horse meat as beef!  Aldi supermarkets have been caught in the middle with a French company providing the foods and removed from their shelves.  

How much did they know and when?

American news organizations have not even reported this for nearly a month, who in the USA is moving horse meat as beef and how long has it been going on?

It is not just a secure labelling that is required, it is honesty from all parties and you know that will never happen!

Horse meat has been sold since man and woman had to feed their bellies.  Back then, horse meat did not contain the chemicals that are injected into horses that are dangerous to man and woman.  We are not talking about a small amount of this dangerous food it is in the millions of pounds of horse meat.

‘The British Secretary of State for Agriculture is returning to London. It’s important we get this right. It’s important to say there’s no reason to believe any frozen food currently on sale is unsafe or a danger to health.’

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson attempted to quell health fears over the lasagnas by saying he would be prepared to let his family eat one. There are concerns the horse meat contains a drug used by vets which is a health risk to humans.

The Findus withdrawals come after ten million beef burgers were taken off the shelves last month because horse meat was found in products sold by Tesco.

A Department of Health spokesman said: It is not a Government issue – every hospital sources its own food. It is all locally sourced.’ 

There is also concern that the horse meat has not been tested for the presence of veterinary drug phenylbutazone. Also known as ‘bute’, it has been found to cause a serious side effects in about one person in 30,000.

Findus became concerned about that the products had been contaminated on January 29 but did not raise the alarm for a week.

After Comigel was unable to provide evidence that all the meat used was beef, Findus withdrew the lasagnas on Monday.

It subsequently tested 18 of its beef lasagna products, made by the company, and found that 11 contained in the range of 60 per cent to 100 cent horse meat, the FSA said.

The French firm which supplied horse meat passed off as beef to British shoppers was at the centre of a major E.coli scare just 20 months ago, it emerged today.

Inspectors feared that some 12 tonnes of beef mince from the Spanghero plant in Castelnaudary, in the south west of the country, was riddled with the potentially lethal bacteria. 

The firm supplied meat for French frozen food giant Comigel which made the Findus beef lasagnes found to contain 100 per cent horse meat.

UPDATE!!!  The Guardian Newspaper

Horsemeat scandal blamed on international fraud by mafia gangs

DNA testing of food to be stepped up following fears there has been criminal activity on an international scale

Organised criminal gangs operating internationally are suspected of playing a major role in the horsemeat scandal that has seen supermarket shelves cleared of a series of products and triggered concerns about the contamination of the UK's food chain.

Sources close to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency said it appeared that the contamination of beefburgers, lasagne and other products was the result of fraud that had an "international dimension".
Experts within the horse slaughter industry have told the Observer there is evidence that both Polish and Italian mafia gangs are running multimillion-pound scams to substitute horsemeat for beef during food production. There are claims that vets and other officials working within abattoirs and food production plants are intimidated into signing off meat as beef when it is in fact cheaper alternatives such as pork or horse.
In an attempt to reassure the public that Britain's food chain was not victim to systemic fraud, the environment secretary Owen Paterson on Saturday met representatives from the big four supermarkets, retail bodies and leading food producers to thrash out a plan to increase the amount of DNA testing of food.
"The retailers have committed to conduct more tests and in the interests of public confidence I've asked them to publish them on a quarterly basis," said Paterson. He stressed there was no evidence yet that the scandal had become a public safety issue.
Paterson insisted retailers had to play the leading role in clamping down on the problem. "Ultimate responsibility for the integrity of what is sold on their label has to lie with the retailer."
The last time the government sanctioned testing for horsemeat in animal products was in 2003 when equine DNA was found in salami.
The first results of a new series of tests for equine DNA in what the FSA terms "comminuted beef products" – where solid materials are reduced in size by crushing or grinding – will be published on Friday. "We have to be prepared that there will be more bad results coming through," Paterson said.
He confirmed that the government was open to bringing in the Serious and Organised Crime Agency if, as seems evident, the fraud is on an international scale. He said the Metropolitan police had been asked to investigate the scandal and that the force was liaising with counterparts in other countries. Paterson suggested the scandal was potentially a "worldwide" issue.
"I'm concerned that this is an international criminal conspiracy here and we've really got to get to the bottom of it," he said.
The Labour MP Mary Creagh said she was passing information to police that suggested several British companies were involved in the illegal horsemeat trade. "I hope that this information will enable the police to act speedily to stamp out these criminals who are putting the future of the food industry at risk."
Concerns about the substitution of horsemeat for beef first emerged in mid-January when supermarket chains withdrew several ranges of burgers. Fears of contamination prompted hundreds of European food companies to conduct DNA checks on their products that resulted in the food giant, Findus, discovering that one of its products, a frozen beef lasagne, contained meat that was almost 100% horse.
It has emerged that Findus conducted three tests on its products on 29 January that suggested there was horsemeat contamination. The revelation has raised questions about why it took several days for the products to be pulled from the shelves.
Findus indicated it was ready to sue as the company announced it would on Monday file a complaint against an unidentified party.
In a statement, the firm said: "Findus is taking legal advice about the grounds for pursuing a case against its suppliers, regarding what they believe is their suppliers' failure to meet contractual obligations about product integrity. The early results from Findus UK's internal investigation strongly suggests that the horsemeat contamination in beef lasagne was not accidental."
Supermarket chain Aldi has confirmed that two of its ready meal ranges produced by Comigel, the French supplier also used by Findus, were found to contain between 30% and 100% horsemeat.
Comigel claims it sourced its meat from Romania, which has been subjected to export restrictions due to the prevalence of the viral disease equine infectious anaemia in the country. Spanghero, the French company that supplied the meat for the Findus beef lasagne, announced it will also sue its Romanian suppliers.
The scandal has raised questions about what happens to the 65,000 horses transported around the EU each year for slaughter. The campaign group World Horse Welfare said thousands of animals suffered as a result of making long journeys across national borders. Partly as a result of welfare concerns, the trade in live horses has fallen dramatically. In 2001, 165,000 horses were shipped across Europe.
The decline in the cross-border trade in live horses has seen an increase in the sale of chilled and frozen horsemeat, much of which goes to Italy. Last year Romania significantly increased its export of frozen horsemeat to the Benelux countries.
Attention is now focusing on eastern Europe, a major supplier of horsemeat to France and Italy. Some of the meat that went into Ireland came from suppliers in Poland, which exports around 25,000 horses for slaughter each year. Industry sources also suggested to the Observerthat gangs operating in Russia and the Baltic states were playing a role in the fraudulent meat trade.
Other food companies have, as a result of their investigations, found that their supplies have been contaminated. The FSA confirmed that meat held in cold storage in Northern Ireland has been impounded after it was discovered to contain equine DNA. A London-based company, 3663, found pork in some of the halal meat it supplies the prison service.
Questions are now being asked about meat supplied to a range of public sector organisations, including the NHS. "Every NHS and healthcare organisation will have different local circumstances and it would be for those organisations to satisfy themselves that the food they supply meets the needs of their patients," said the Department of Health. "Any investigations into the provenance of those supplies would also be done locally."
British farmers have expressed concerns that the scandal could affect consumer confidence in British beef. "Our members are rightly angry and concerned with the recent developments relating to contaminated processed meat products," said the National Farmers' Union president, Peter Kendall. "The contamination took place post farm-gate which farmers have no control over."

Think about your own company and how you do business and with whom.  Do you believe you are being honest and your clients have Trust and Respect in you?

For more information I have listed the news stories for you.  Google for more…