Supermarket buyers have been warned that Brazilian beef on sale in UK stores is likely to be of a type bred for its hardiness at the expense of its eating qualities.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) claimed that DNA tests on samples of imported beef purchased north of the border from six supermarket chains on August 13 and 14 revealed that all of the Brazilian samples tested positive for Zebu genetics.
QMS said beef in this category was bred to survive in tropical climes and was “scientifically proven to be of poorer eating quality”. The strain is discouraged from use in Australia after research into eating quality, said QMS. Chief executive Jan Polley said: “We are concerned that lower quality beef is being imported just because it is cheaper. This country needs to import some beef to satisfy demand, but it is in the long-term interests of everyone to check that beef sold in the UK meets the standards of eating quality, animal welfare and traceability required of our own industry.
“Consumers will not always realise that these standards can differ, and may think they are simply getting a bargain. It is up to the retail and foodservice sectors to check.”