A new online tool has been launched in the wake of the horsemeat scandal to give food companies daily updates on food contamination and other safety issues.

HorizonScan sources daily recall, alert and food safety information from around the world and collates reports from major food importing countries as well as smaller states.

Registered users access the software online, where they can find information on a wide range of issues including microbial contaminants, veterinary drugs, pesticides and heavy metals.

Users can view data on emerging threats and assess the danger posed in specific countries or by particular suppliers.

The tool has been developed by Fera (Food & Environment Research Agency), Leatherhead Food Research and other industry advisers.

“HorizonScan enables you to conduct top-line investigations and be alerted to issues very quickly,” said head of crisis management at Leatherhead Food Research professor Tony Hines.