1 in 5 UK meat products test positive for 'unspecified meat'

The FSA conducted 69 tests on meat products between 2018 and 2019
The FSA conducted 69 tests on meat products between 2018 and 2019

A new report shows that nearly one in five British meat products have tested positive for 'unspecified meat' not declared on the package label.

Local authorities conducted investigations between June 2018 and May 2019 and targeted areas where mislabelling was more likely.

Carrying out 69 tests, they found that 12 meat products were contaminated with “unspecified meat or DNA species not declared on the label”.

Products in the tests included ham that contained no ham, lamb doner kebabs without lamb and pork sausages that also contained both lamb and beef.

It follows the horse meat scandal which rocked the UK and Europe six years ago.

The scandal exposed major questions over EU rules on food safety and quality, transparency and food labelling, and cross-border fraud and crime.

Which? strategic policy adviser Sue Davies told The Mirror that the ­government and local authorities 'must clamp down' on food fraud.

“It is concerning if, six years on from the horse meat scandal, consumers are still being misled about meat they are eating.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Local Authorities carry out targeted food sampling at businesses where mislabelling is more likely and this is not representative of the wider food industry.

“Where samples show a product has been mislabelled it will be investigated by the Local Authority and appropriate action will be taken.

“This can include issuing informal warnings or taking enforcement action such as prosecutions or cautions.”

Over one quarter of consumers have experienced food fraud in the UK and it could be costing the food and drink industry up to £12 billion annually.