Today is set to be a pivotal day in the horse meat crisis that is raging across Europe and could be huge in terms of consumer confidence in supermarket meat products.

The Food Standards Agency is set to reveal the first wave of results of the DNA tests of supermarket beef products that it demanded last week. We will keep you posted here on the news conference at 13.30.

The agency had wanted all testing to be completed by today but it now clear that this will prove impossible due to the sheer number of products to be tested and a lack of facilities in which to carry out the process.

Earlier this week a joint investigation by The Grocer and The Guardian revealed there were at least 600 products lines to be tested across just four of the major retailers - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Added to this Morrisons revealed today that a total of 240 beef products were being tested and The Co-operative Group more than 100.


Aldi said it has tested 163 of 179 products, with all these found to be clear of horse DNA. It has also tested all products for veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as ‘bute’, and these have also been clear.

“From the very first day that this issue became apparent, Aldi has acted quickly to both reassure and protect our customers,” said a spokesman. “Potentially affected products were immediately withdrawn and customers were quickly notified. Since then, we have been working around the clock to carry out tests across our ranges – and thoroughly investigating our supply chains and suppliers to ensure that they are meeting our exacting standards.”


  • To date we have carried out 196 tests on Asda brand processed beef products, and have submitted all of these results to the BRC as requested
  • None of the Asda products tested positive for the presence of horsemeat against the Food Standards Agency’s threshold
  • This testing is being conducted on behalf of Asda by independent, externally accredited laboratories and is ongoing
  • We’re also increasing the number of independent unannounced audits we conduct across our entire meat supply chain
  • We will continue to do the right thing and take appropriate action where necessary to make sure our customers can be confident in the food they are eating.


The Food Standards Agency has revealed that of the 2,501 DNA tests it has conducted on branded and own label meat products, 29 results showed levels of horse above its 1% threshold.

The results don’t include the contamination found in a Whitbread meat lasagne and beef burger that was announced earlier today. However Findus lasagne in different sizes accounted for 15 of the 29 positive tests.

The testing process is still ongoing with 900 results still to come in.


Retailers have carried out over a thousand tests on processed beef products over the last three weeks – two thirds of the products they set out to test. Five products tested positive for the presence of horsemeat against the Food Standards Agency’s threshold.  

These are the same five own brand products that have already been notified to the FSA and withdrawn from sale over the same period.  

The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) food retailing members agreed with the Food Standards Agency and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson last weekend that they would provide the results available so far, today (Friday). The BRC has collated the test results which show:

  • The total number of tests carried out by BRC members 1052
  • 65 per cent of the processed beef product lines retailers have set out to test have now been tested.
  • Five products have tested positive against the FSA’s one per cent threshold. 


New test results on 149 Tesco products are all clear. More detail to follow


No trace of horsemeat has been found in any of our products, however we are playing our part in the wider industry investigation including carrying out further testing. These have all been negative to date, if we find any horse DNA in our products we will take immediate action.

The Co-operative

The latest results of further independent tests, commissioned by The Co-operative Group, have been announced today (Friday 15 February 2013), and have proven negative for horse DNA in all of the 59 (out of the 102 own-brand minced beef products sent for testing) (57%) received back so far.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative said: “We have commissioned stringent ongoing independent testing on our own-brand products containing minced beef, as agreed with the Food Standards Agency. 

“Today’s results have shown that, so far, no products in the current batch of those being tested have been found to contain horse DNA.

“Our tests are still ongoing and we continue to work with both the FSA and the British Retail Consortium, and expect to issue further updates in the next few days.”


We’ve had 68 test results on Morrisons products. So far we’ve found no contamination with horsemeat.More results to come.


Iceland Foods is pleased to confirm that all Iceland own brand products containing beef have now been checked by an independent laboratory for the presence of equine (horse) protein and all results show them to be clear of any such contamination.  The products tested include such categories as minced and diced beef, sausages, burgers, ready meals including lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese, corned beef and pizzas.

Iceland Chairman & Chief Executive Malcolm Walker said: “I am naturally delighted with the expected results of these tests. No horsemeat has ever been found in any Iceland product* and we have always led the way in delivering Food You Can Trust to consumers.

As long ago as 1986 we were the first UK supermarket to remove artificial colourings, flavourings, and non-essential preservatives from our own brand products – two decades before many of our major competitors. We were also the first UK supermarket to ban monosodium glutamate (MSG) from our own brand products in 1986, and banned mechanically recovered meat (MRM) from all Iceland brand products in 1990.

We were the first national food retailer anywhere in the world to ban genetically modified (GM) ingredients from all our own brand products in 1998.

Iceland does not sell cheap food. We sell high quality own label frozen food that is good value. We do not sell – and have never sold – “white pack” economy products. Most Iceland ready meals are manufactured in our own factory, which uses British beef supplied by our own meat processing plant.

Customers and their families can trust Iceland to bring them good, safe, innovative and enjoyable food that also offers them outstanding value.”

* Testing by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the results of which were published on 15 January 2013, found traces of equine DNA at 0.1% in two Iceland Quarter Pounder burgers. The testing method used by the FSAI was not an accredited test and the current accepted threshold level is 1% (10 times the level reported in the Iceland product). Two subsequent tests of the same batch of burgers carried out by two accredited independent laboratories found no evidence of contamination.