Ludlow butcher blames horse meat scandal on mass production

Ludlow Advertiser: Andrew James, of AH Griffiths in Ludlow. Andrew James, of AH Griffiths in Ludlow.

A LUDLOW butcher says he is not surprised supermarkets have been caught up in the horse burger scandal.

Alan Griffiths, of AH Griffiths Butchers based in the Bull Ring, said after the discovery of horse meat in some supermarket beef burgers that mass production leads to a lack of quality and traceability.

“The burgers you get in supermarkets are made in their thousands through great big machines,” said Alan.

“Ours are all handmade. We only make 40 or 50 at a time when they are making thousands.

“We make them fresh so it’s all quality pork, lamb or beef. We don’t put horse meat in ours.”

A statement on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website reported last week that it was making urgent investigations on how a number of beef products on sale in the UK and Republic of Ireland came to contain traces of horse and pig DNA.

"In particular, 27 beef burger products were analysed, with 10 of the 27 products (37 per cent) testing positive for horse DNA and 23 (85 per cent) testing positive for pig DNA," said the FSA.

"In nine of the 10 beefburger samples, horse DNA was found at very low levels. In one sample from Tesco, the level of horse DNA indicated that horse meat was present and accounted for approximately 29 per cent of the total meat content of the burger."

It added that all of the retailers involved so far have removed potentially affected products from their shelves.

The news caused uproar and Alan says customers should be getting what they believe they are buying.

“There is probably nothing wrong with horse meat but I think the general public like to know what is going into their food,” said Alan.

“We buy off either local farmers or markets and we have our own abattoir (in Leintwardine) which is rare these days.

“Fair enough, the supermarkets are cheaper but the burgers can be rubbish.

That’s why you can get 10 burgers for a couple of quid.”

Responding to the news the National Beef Association said retailers and processors throughout the UK must put more effort into making sure the products they sell exactly match everything that is written on the label.

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