UK probe finds 1 in 5 meat products mislabelled

One in five samples of meat tested by the UK Food Standards Agency in a sampling study have been found to contain unspecified meat or DNA species not declared on the label.

An article in The Mirror says that the finding, based on 69 samples taken between June 2018 and May 2019, is worrying given that the horsemeat scandal happened six years ago, and prompted changes intended to prevent a re-occurrence of this type of food fraud.

It also claims budget cuts to Trading Standards – along with the end of dedicated FSA funding for food sampling – are cutting into the ability of authorities to detect this kind of food fraud.

Some of the cases included “ham that contained no ham, lamb doner kebabs without a trace of lamb and pork sausages that also had lamb and beef in them,” says the newspaper.

A spokesman for the FSA said the sampling was carried out in businesses where mislabelling is more likely and so the one in five outcome is not representative of the wider food industry.

The proportion is around the same as was uncovered in a BBC investigation last year that was based on 665 samples taken in 2017.

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