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Leicester launches city-wide meat-testing investigation

22 May 2013 by
Leicester launches city-wide meat-testing investigation

Leicester City Council has launched a major meat-sampling programme following the discovery of pork in halal lamb burgers in local schools.

Officers from the council's environmental health service will take and test samples of meat products from caterers, butchers, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, with the view of obtaining a better overall picture of the quality and standards of meat and meat products on sale.

The council hopes the three-month investigation involving more than 100 samples will help restore consumer confidence.

Adrian Russell, city council director of environment and enforcement services, said: "We will be looking to target those products most at risk from adulteration. These will mainly be products that are less likely to have been subject to testing undertaken nationally or by major supermarkets.

"This is the biggest food-sampling programme we have ever undertaken, and we are very keen to ensure that any companies that are knowingly supplying fraudulently labelled foods will be brought to justice.

The action comes as Leicester City Council begins its own statutory investigation into halal burgers removed from city schools earlier this year.

Support for the investigation has been voiced by the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS).

Mark Laurie, director of NCASS said: "We believe it is a positive step in the right direction to regain confidence in the meat processing industry and its suppliers; when the news of the horse meat scandal broke it called for immediate action within the industry, calling for supply chain investigation.

"Now the actions of another industry are negatively impacting our own, the livelihoods of our members and traders who were also victims of this fraud alongside the public."

Laurie advised caterers to be cautious and contact suppliers about any produce they may be concerned about and re-consider supply lines if necessary.

"Many of our members offer high provenance food that has been carefully sourced and it is a great shame that the meat processing industry has affected confidence in our customers produce."

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