Now Asda bans meat from Glasgow factory

ASDA today became the latest supermarket chain to ban the sale of beef meatballs supplied by a Glasgow manufacturer over fears they could contain pork.

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The supermarket firm moved quickly after it emerged the Freshlink factory in Shettleston was at the centre of a food scare.

As reported in later editions of last night's Evening Times, Waitrose bosses had claimed pork traces had been found in two batches of meatballs manufactured at the Glasgow East End site last summer.

As a result Waitrose has removed batches from its stores and ended all business dealings with the Dublin-based ABP Flood Group that owns Freshlink.

Waitrose had said pork traces were discovered following a series of tests, but the factory's Irish owners strongly denied the claim.

In a statement it said: "We understand that at this time Asda has found no positive tests for other species of meat in its meat balls but has withdrawn them as a precaution. Freshlink has carried out over 450 DNA tests during the past two and a half years. All our test results have been confirmed as negative for non-declared species."

However, Asda – Britain's second biggest supermarket chain – has now also decided to scrap packs of all meatballs supplied from the Shettleston site, even though bosses have no evidence they contain any pork.

A statement on Asda's website told customers: "We want you to have complete confidence in the food you buy at Asda so we are moving swiftly to remove products from sale as a precaution even when there is no direct evidence one of our own products is affected.

"For instance, we have removed our Asda Chosen By You Cook From Frozen 20 Beef Meatballs (500g), from sale after test results for a similar Waitrose product produced in the same factory tested positive for pork.

"Although we don't have any evidence of cross-contamination of pork at this stage, we have withdrawn the product as a precaution while we await the results of our own tests."

Meanwhile, tests for traces of the painkiller "bute" in Findus food products have come back negative, Agriculture Minister David Heath told the House of Commons today.

Mr Heath said eight horse carcasses from the UK tested positive for bute, and three of them entered the human food chain in France.

But he said Findus products that had been withdrawn after being found to contain horse had tested negative for bute.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson had earlier hinted investigations by UK food safety authorities may lead to further raids, following action at an abattoir in West Yorkshire and a Welsh processing plant.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons that anyone involved in passing off horsemeat as beef should face "the full intervention of the law", but said there was no evidence products on the shelves of British shops were unsafe.

gordon.thomson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Food and drink

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