- Published on Monday, 25 February 2013 16:25
Birds Eye has announced that one of its products sold in Belgium, Chilli Con Carne, produced by Frigilunch N.V., has tested positive for horse DNA and has been immediately withdrawn from sale.
As a precautionary measure in the UK, Birds Eye has withdrawn all other beef products from the same supplier. They have stressed, however, that no products from this supplier have tested positive in the UK. Withdrawn products will not be replaced on supermarket shelves until investigations are fully complete. The following products are being withdrawn in the UK and Ireland:
• Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g
• Shepherd's Pie 400g
• Beef Lasagne 400g
Retailers are requested to contact the Birds Eye Careline on 0800 917 5410 for further information and a full refund.
Scotland's councils have been ordered not to use any frozen beef products, and asked to attend an urgent 'school meals sourcing summit' by Ministers amid the escalating horsemeat crisis. The discovery of horse DNA in a burger at Cumbernauld High School led to councils being advised not to use any frozen beef, including mince, until further investigations are carried out.
The warning was issued by Scotland Excel, the procurement agency that serves local government. It applies to local authority schools, council leisure facilities and some social care establishments. The ban was imposed as further evidence of horsemeat contamination came to light. Catering firm Sodexo, which supplies 2,300 UK outlets, withdrew all frozen beef after a product tested positive for horse DNA
Ikea has withdrawn meatballs for sale in much of Europe after Czech inspectors found traces of horsemeat in a batch manufactured in Sweden. The discovery comes as European Union agriculture ministers meet in Brussels for talks widely expected to focus on the growing horsemeat scandal.
- Published on Friday, 15 February 2013 14:02
In Scotland, the Minister for Public Health, has written to the Scottish Parliament Health Committee to outline the Scottish Government’s response to the horsemeat crisis:
- At present there has been no horse DNA found in products manufactured in Scotland.
- At the request of Scottish Ministers, the Food Standards Agency in Scotland (FSAS) has initiated a programme of inspections at every approved processed meat establishment in Scotland, the vast majority of these will have been carried out by February 22nd.
- In addition a UK- wide meat authenticity survey including samples from Scottish businesses has been initiated.
Meanwhile, UK retailers have rejected government criticism they "remained silent" over the horsemeat crisis - as they begin to release test results on beef products. In a public letter, 11 firms, including Tesco and Asda, said they shared shoppers' "anger and outrage". They said they were "working around the clock" to resolve the matter.
Downing Street had criticised the apparent reluctance of supermarkets involved in selling affected products to comment publicly on the horsemeat crisis. Number 10 said it was pleased retailers had finally spoken out in public.
The results of up to one third of tests on the presence of horsemeat in processed meals ordered by the Food Standards Agency are to be released today. The Co-Operative Group said 59 of its 102 own-brand minced beef products have been tested so far, with all found to be clear of horsemeat.
The British Retail Consortium's Helen Dickinson told BBC Radio 4 that retailers had been focusing on the swift testing of products. She added that lessons must be learned by "all parts of the food industry" in the UK and Europe. Some shops have already recalled products found to be adulterated, including Asda, which withdrew a beef Bolognese sauce on Thursday - the first fresh beef product to be involved. Aldi, Tesco and Findus have also withdrawn some beef-based ready meals.
SGF will continue to monitor this situation closely, liaise with its members and keep them informed as the key issues develop.
- Published on Monday, 11 February 2013 16:07
The Scottish Government has moved to counter suggestions that it had not been sufficiently proactive on the issue of horsemeat in food products. Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, said tests would be carried out this week to establish whether the meat had been used in public sector supplied meals. The Cabinet Secretary also said:
“The issue of horsemeat in the food chain is one that is being taken very seriously by both the Scottish Government and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Scotland….the issue surrounding horsemeat remains one of mislabelling and potential fraud with there being no evidence of any implications for human health at present.”
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said:
“So far, no Scottish businesses have been implicated in this scandal. However, we are not complacent. The FSA will continue to advise the public on which food products, if any, should be avoided, and to provide expert advice to Scottish Ministers on what action should be taken by Government. Indeed the FSA is continuing to demand the food industry do more testing of their beef products to give consumers confidence in what they are buying.”
In Scotland, the FSA retains responsibility for food labelling policy unlike in England where responsibility was transferred in 2010 to Ministers. Food safety and standards are devolved matters. In Scotland, the FSA provides advice directly to Scottish Ministers and is accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
As has been reported, Findus Beef Lasagne has been found to contain horsemeat and the affected products have been removed from sale and retailers will have been contacted by their supplier regarding this recall. If this has not yet happened please ensure that these products are removed from sale and returned to the supplier or wholesaler from which they were bought.
SGF will continue to monitor this issue as it develops and inform you about it.
- Published on Friday, 08 February 2013 13:33
SGF, in conjunction with the Scottish Retails Consortium, attended the launch in Scotland of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Small Business Retail Lease.
RICS Scotland has launched a new small business retail lease aimed at new and independent retailers in order to stimulate the letting of vacant high street space.
This lease is has been drafted specifically for small-to-medium retail property in Scotland. It has been devised to simplify the often complex and time-consuming processes associated with commercial property leases.
It is written in plain English and provides flexible terms for a short term lease (of up to five years) with no rent review. The new, freely available contract will enable quicker occupation of retail premises, helping to support the independent retail sector and stimulate the Scottish high street.
The lease and the associated guidance for tenants and landlords are available here
- Published on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 09:17
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