Horsemeat contamination was inevitable – letter to the editor
This letter was issued to the trade and national media on January 13, 2013
Sir, Reports of horsemeat and pig DNA being found in beef products sold in UK and Irish supermarkets is shocking but not surprising. Let’s be clear; I strongly doubt there is an agenda among food manufacturers to ‘pass off’ one meat as another. Furthermore, I doubt that there is confusion at a high level within the British food industry about the hygiene standards required to avoid such contamination. Below that level, there are questions to be asked.
There is undoubtedly a level of misunderstanding about manufacturing compliance overall in the food industry. My own insight comes from the provision of oils used by food manufacturers to provide heat for their processing lines. It is an international requirement that these be food grade – so that they can’t contaminate product with non Food Grade fluid. However, many of the companies I meet for the first time are unaware that they should be using only food grade heat transfer oils.
A total of 27 burger products were analysed, with 10 of them containing traces of horse DNA and 23 containing pig DNA. In addition, 31 beef based ready meals, including cottage pie, beef curry pie and lasagne, were analysed, of which 21 tested positive for pig DNA. The problem was first discovered by the Irish Food Standard independent test, which highlights the value of independent testing.
This isn’t coincidence. What is required is better understanding and application of the regulations we already have that can prevent this kind of contamination. Without this understanding, such contamination is not just possible, it’s inevitable.
Global Heat Transfer Ltd
The Global Group of Companies
Cold Meece Estate
01785 760 555