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Food Standards

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health which companies were found by the Food Standards Agency to be selling salami containing horse and donkey meat, which was not identified on the label. [118553]

The pilot survey, which was funded by the Food Standards Agency and carried out by five trading standards departments, found that three products contained undeclared horse meat. Two products, a peppered salami and Cervalat salami, were of the brand L'Artibon and these were purchased from Safeway in Durham. The third sample was labelled as a wild boar salami, manufactured by Bernadi Gastone of Pisa, Italy and sold by Alvini North, a wholesaler in Leeds.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to prosecute retailers that are selling salami that contains horse and donkey meat where the meat is not identified on the label. [118557]

Local authorities are responsible for enforcement of food law. The three samples of salamis found positive for horse DNA in the pilot survey funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) were the subject of further investigation by two local authorities. Formal samples of a different batch of product were taken at a later date, but were subsequently found to be negative for horse DNA and no further action is possible on these samples. The FSA is carrying out a larger, nation wide survey on salami and salami-type products to determine the extent of this problem. If further unidentified horse meat is detected, local authorities will be encouraged to take formal action.