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Food Concerns

Last Updated: 22/02/2013

Update from Tim Smith, Tesco Group Technical Director

Today we can confirm that a further 100 products have been tested and all were clear of horse meat. These follow the 149 results we confirmed last week to the Food Standards Authority were also clear of horse meat. We would like to reassure our customers that this marks the beginning, not the end, of our work to ensure this never happens again.

As Philip Clarke said last week, we are introducing a world-class traceability and DNA testing system which sets a new standard our customers can rely on. That testing has started and will be one of the permanent controls in place to ensure the quality and safety of our food. We will back-up this new testing with a pledge to give our customers much more information about what’s in the food we sell and how it's produced.

All the food tested is now listed on so customers can follow our progress.

We believe this work will give our customers complete confidence that what is on the label is in the product – nothing more, nothing less.

Tim J Smith Tesco Group Technical Director

Product testing - Updated: 15/02/13

When we became aware that two of our products had been contaminated with more than 1% horse meat, we immediately withdrew them from sale - our frozen Everyday Value beef burgers on the 15th of January and our frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese on the 5th of February. We will no longer work with the suppliers who fell below our very high standards.

We promised that we would undertake a thorough programme of DNA tests, and that we would tell you, our customers, the results. Over the past few weeks we have focused on products where minced red meat is used as an ingredient. This includes products such as burgers and ready meals.

So far, we have completed tests on 149 products as part of our new DNA testing programme. 149 products came back with negative results for horse meat. This is the start of our testing programme to support our promise that what's on the label is in the pack. We are now extending our use of DNA testing to look at those products where we think that there is a greater risk of rogue ingredients being used.

Current testing is fully utilising lab capacity but we are approximately half way through testing all of those red meat products. As we test more products we will keep you updated about our progress and if we find anything in the pack that is not on the label we will take the product off sale and investigate fully. And we are not going to stop there. We will test all of our meat-containing products next and then move on to other foods.

DNA testing will now become routine in our management of product quality and assurance.

Tim J Smith Tesco Group Technical Director

View test results >

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