The Food Standards Agency has today released the results of a further 1,133 tests for horse DNA in beef products.

Together with the tests it reported on a week ago, the FSA has received a total of 3,634 of results, of which less than 1% showed the presence of at least 1% horse DNA.

The 35 positive tests represented 13 different products, but all were lines that had already been identified and withdrawn from sale in the past week, and include Asda’s chilled Chosen By You beef Bolognese sauce and the burger and lasagne withdrawn from Whitbread pubs and restaurants. No tests on samples containing horse DNA had found the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, also known as bute.

The FSA said retailers had completed approximately 90% of the tests they had pledged to carry out, while suppliers, caterers and wholesalers had completed around 80%. The agency will publish a further update of industry testing results next Friday (1 March).

“The overwhelming majority of results have come back negative, which is reassuring for consumers,” said FSA chief executive Catherine Brown. “However, our work is far from done. We are committed to pursuing enforcement action where we can, to ensure that those who were at fault take full responsibility for their actions. We are determined to get to the bottom of this to find out exactly what happened - and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The agency also reported that its own formal sampling programme was “well under way” and that it expected to release the initial findings in early March.

It said that, as part of the testing going on across Europe, the UK had been asked to take a further 150 samples from products labelled as containing beef. A cross-government group was finalising the protocol and details of products to be sampled to ensure it was representative, while 24  local authorities were being recruited to carry out the sampling, which would be reported to the EC in April.