By Laura Moulden
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has raided two premises involved in the alleged supply of horse meat to British supermarkets.
Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse in Yorkshire and Farmbox Meats Ltd in Wales were raided by FSA agents and police yesterday (February 12th) in an effort to ascertain the circumstances through which horse meat was sold as beef to be used in kebabs and burgers.
Operations have been suspended at both plants and all meat products have been confiscated, along with any relevant paperwork.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson branded the scandal “absolutely shocking”.
“It’s totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horsemeat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity,” he said.
FSA director of operations Andrew Rhodes revealed that an audit of all horse-producing abattoirs in the UK had been ordered after the horsemeat scandal came to light last month.
“I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers,” he said.
Commenting on the plant closures, Welsh government minister for agriculture Alun Davies claimed he would be “appalled” if the allegations of wrongdoing were proven to be true.
“Integrity and trust are essential in the food chain,” he said. “The Welsh Government is working closely with Defra and the FSA to ensure this matter is dealt with swiftly and decisively.”