No traces of bute but five products contaminated by horse or pig DNA

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A UK-wide survey of 357 beef products for possible contamination has found two contained horse DNA and three contained pig DNA, according to figures released by the Government.

All five products, which contained more than one per cent horse or pig DNA, have been withdrawn from sale and named on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said a further five samples are “in dispute”. No samples had been found to contain traces of veterinary drug bute, he said.

The survey is in addition to the results of 5,430 industry tests reported on March 4 and Mr Paterson said the FSA will publish a summary of ongoing testing for horse DNA in processed beef products in early June. Individual products confirmed as testing positive above the one per cent limit will be reported immediately.

With the focus on the deliberate substitution of beef with horsemeat, Mr Paterson said “this does not mean that we have ignored the possibility of beef products containing undeclared pork or pig DNA”.

He said: “I recognise that even trace levels of pork contamination, below the one per cent threshold, are unacceptable to some faith communities.”