Retailers have agreed to a new testing regime following crisis talks over the weekend and are braced for further revelations as the horse meat scandal grows rapidly across Europe.
Retailers including Tesco and Sainsbury’s met with environment secretary Owen Paterson on Saturday to discuss the growing crisis which has seen British and French supermarkets pull thousands of frozen ready meals from sale in case they contain horsemeat.
Paterson said the £75bn UK food industry could expect ”more bad results” when test results are revealed on Friday. Paterson is to update MPs later today on the latest developments.
However, Paterson has stopped short of demanding certain meat is banned from being imported to the UK, as had been called for, stating that it is not yet a public health issue.
Paterson said the supply of products containing horsemeat has been “an international criminal conspiracy” with companies in Romania, Poland, France and Ireland all implicated.
He added that he believed retailers should carry a burden of responsibility. “It is down to them to buy from manufacturers whose procedures they trust,” he said.
Paterson has agreed with businesses a new testing regime which will involve reporting results to the FSA every three months, The Mirror reported.