THE FRENCH might be having a good chuckle at “les rosbifs” when it comes to our aversion to horse meat, but yesterday French radio ran a serious report on the scandal. What’s more, Footprint Media Group CEO Nick Fenwicke-Clennell was interviewed for the piece.
During a five-minute interview, Fenwicke-Clennell explained how the last 20 years had seen a “dramatic change” in food safety, traceability and management. However, he said that the current scandal, in which horse meat has been substituted for beef in a variety of products, showed there were “gaps” in the system and that “something has to be done”.
“Whether this is cost-driven, who knows – the food industry has been driving down the costs it wants to pay its suppliers,” he told Radio France International (RFI).
However, he said that people are beginning to think more about their food and “what it might be doing to them” and the catering sector is picking up on this.
Nestlé is the latest company to have been involved in the scandal. It has withdrawn beef and pasta products in Italy, Spain and France because of traces of horse meat. However, it has confirmed that tests on its nine processed beef products available in the UK showed no contamination with horse DNA.
This follows the news last week that traces of horse DNA had been found in products sold as beef by Compass and Whitbread.
The Food Standards Agency today, February 20th, announced that the testing for horse meat will be expanded to more products, including stock cubes and stewing steak.