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Supermarkets must face up to horsemeat scandal

SUPERMARKETS HAVE been criticised by the government for not commenting publicly on the horsemeat crisis.

Will the public still buy cheap processed meat products when the horsemeat scandal is over?
Will the public still buy cheap processed meat products when the horsemeat scandal is over?

It has been reported that the government believe stores remaining silent is unacceptable, but supermarkets have said they will speak out following tests on products that may be contaminated.

It is believed the government say those selling affected products should answer key questions over how the crisis happened and what they are doing to ensure it will not happen again.

Results of tests from suspected contaminated food are expected to be released today. However, if the results do have positive results for horsemeat, the Food Standards Agency has said horsemeat is safe to eat.

There is some concern over horses treated with phenylbutazone, or bute, which can be damaging to human health. Animals treated with bute are not allowed to enter the food chain. So far, preliminary tests have shown Findus beef lasagne, which contains horsemeat, does not contain bute.

Many supermarkets have been implicated in the scandal and have recalled products they suspect may contain horsemeat.

The scandal has also involved police, who are investigating horsemeat which was mislabelled as beef. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Fraud Act.

Two men, aged 64 and 42, were held at Farmbox Meats Ltd, near Aberystwyth, and a 63-year-old man was arrested at Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Both firms have denied any wrongdoing.

Conservative MP Anne McIntosh, chair of the environment, food and rural affairs select committee, has said retailers were "stepping up to the plate" to deal with the problem.

But she added: "What we want to do is boost confidence in the consumer...It is alarming that we still do not know at what point this contamination is entering into the food chain, either in this country or presumably more probably in the European Union."

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