Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA News Item, 17 December 2003

MEAT PRODUCTS - No more horsing around with salami

A UK-wide investigation carried out by the Food Standards Agency suggests that consumers should no longer be concerned about the problem of salami containing undeclared horsemeat and donkeymeat.

Salami and salami-type products can legally contain horse or donkey meat. However, if it is included in the recipe it should say so in the ingredients list on the product label. Samples of salami and salami-type products were tested for traces of donkey and horsemeat after results of a pilot survey, published in June, indicated a problem with undeclared horsemeat in a small sample of the market (3 out of 24 products tested).

To get a fuller picture for the whole of the UK, samples of salami and salami-type products were taken from wholesale and retail outlets by 30 local authorities. A total of 158 samples were collected and tested. However, the results did not detect any horsemeat or donkeymeat above the limit of detection by DNA analysis.

One sample of chorizo did contain 'traces' of horsemeat. However, the result was at the limit of detection and was due to cross contamination and not deliberate adulteration.

Rosemary Hignett, Head of Food Labelling and Standards at the Food Standards Agency said: 'The results of this survey are very encouraging. Manufacturers have obviously re-checked and improved their processes so that cross contamination is being avoided. This, in turn, dispels any consumer concerns that were raised by the earlier study that the problem may have been more widespread.'

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