The horse meat scandal continues to move quickly with more revelations and statements by the Government coming out everyday. Owen Patterson made a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday during which he stated that retailers are responsible for what they stock. Independent store owners may have thought, ‘does this mean me?’ of course ultimately it does. For the purposes of the actions that Mr Paterson requires, he seems to be meaning the national supermarkets plus the wholesalers that supply independent stores.
For the independent channel the meeting was attended by James Bielby, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors. In their statement they say:
” FWD members are testing their own-label processed beef products for traces of horse meat. FWD is currently collating the results, along with details of any tests still in progress, and will forward these to the Food Standards Agency on Thursday 14 February. If any products are found to contain horse meat they will immediately be withdrawn from sale.”
While independent wholesalers remain confident that their own label products are uncontaminated they are undertaking the testing demanded by DEFRA.
ACTIONS FOR INDEPENDENT RETAILERS
- Keep up to date by visiting the Food Safety Agency website www.food.gov.uk/ everyday.
- Stay in touch with your suppliers
- Action all stock withdrawal notices promptly