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March 8, 2021

Romania starts DNA tests on food products that contain beef

The European Commission recommended Romania, starting March 1, to conduct 100 sampling operations aimed at finding horse DNA in the food that is labeled as containing beef, the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) announced. The types of food products that will be sampled are mincemeat, processed meat, meat products and composite products that contain beef, boiled or smoked, meat products cooked with mincemeat from local output or imported. The samples will be taken from products sold by butcher’s shops, restaurants, canteens, catering units, pastry shops, fast-food restaurants, supermarkets, hypermarkets etc. The expenses with the sampling operation within the coordinated control programme will be 75 pc sustained by the European Union, with a maximum of 300 EUR/test, ANSVSA explains.The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Daniel Constantin called yesterday, at the Victoria Palace, a meeting of all institutions with attributions in managing the crisis generated by the mislabeling of beef, in view of intensifying the preventive actions. Romanian authorities did not receive all the data from Greek officials regarding the mislabeled horsemeat products from Romania, so they could not progress with their investigation, minister Constantin said, adding that he does not think the fraud was made in Romania. During the meeting, the minister of Agriculture demanded embassies to promptly react to such cases, saying that – for example – he learned about the situation in Greece from TV.Horse DNA has been found in two more meat products in Greece, authorities said on Friday, ekathimerini.com informs. The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said that the horse meat had been found in a salami sold under the brand name “Destan” and kebab meat called “Armeniko”. EFET said it had carried out 33 tests by Friday and had found four products containing horse meat. Earlier in the week, EFET found DNA in two frozen meat products imported from Romania. Those products have been seized.Also, four beef products sold in UK by Bird’s Eye, Taco Bell and catering supplier Brakes have been found to contain horse DNA, the Food Standards Agency says, according to BBC. This is the third wave of test results received by the FSA, which has now received a total of 5,430 test results. Meanwhile, new tests conducted on beef retail products revealed no new cases of horsemeat adulteration, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said. The affected products are Birds Eye’s Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagne – which the company took off shelves last week as a precaution; Brakes’ Spicy Beef Skewer; Taco Bell’s Ground Beef. Taco Bell has three outlets in Britain and says all its affected stock has been removed. The products had come from a supplier in Europe, the company said. Moreover, Austria is going to have to temporarily halt the shipment of meat products to Russia and inspect the enterprises that produce them, head of the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) Sergei Dankvert thinks, kyivpost.com informs. “In any event, the colleague from Austria understands what the level of his responsibility will be if we find horsemeat in sausages a second time,” Dankvert said.Horsemeat was also found in small quantities of lasagna sold by a retail chain in Bulgaria. But no traces of horsemeat have been discovered in the meat products sold by Bulgaria’s sole IKEA store in the capital Sofia, according to local food safety authorities, novinite.com informs. Bulgaria’s Food Safety Agency had sent samples for DNA testing in a German laboratory. The results came back negative for equine DNA.

No meat in Icelandic beef pies

The Food and Veterinary Authority of Iceland investigated meatballs from a natural food company in order to make sure there was no horse meat as has been found in meat from a number of European companies. Gaedakokkar is a high end natural food company in western Iceland. It was found that their meat balls that were listed as having 30 pc beef had no beef at all, according to Wall Street Journal. There were not even traces of any animal protein in the meat balls according to MAST official Hjalti Andrason. Andrason said that they expect that the filling is some type of vegetable protein but this is not yet confirmed. This discovery has been a severe blow to the business which employs ten people and has been in business since 1999.


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