THE FOOD Standards Agency (FSA) and police have shut down two meat premises, one in West Yorkshire and the other in West Wales.
The plants were raided as part of the ongoing investigation into the mislabelling of meat products.
The FSA has given the following statement:
“The plant in West Yorkshire is Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and we believe it supplied horse carcasses to Farmbox Meats Ltd, Llandre, Aberystwyth. The agency and the police are looking into the circumstances through which meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse.”
The FSA has suspended operations at both these plants. Both West Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys police have entered the premises with the FSA. The FSA has detained all meat found and seized paperwork, including customer lists from the two companies.
Andrew Rhodes, FSA director of operations, said: “I ordered an audit of all horse producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers. I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue.”
Environment secretary Owen Paterson said: “This is 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.”