No horse meat sold as beef found in Finland

21.7.2014

<p>A control project carried out in Finland in May-June 2014 resulted in no findings of food products containing horse meat not listed on the product packaging. The purpose of the project, run by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, was to analyse 50 food samples collected from the market for horse meat.</p>

"This is what the results should be. Consumers should be able to trust that the meat used as an ingredient in a product is from the species of animal stated on the packaging label and that the product contains no other meats", says Jussi Peusa, Senior Inspector at Evira.

The control project was carried out in all the EU countries, following sampling recommendations from the European Commission. In Finland, the samples were collected in accordance with Evira’s instructions without prior notification by seven municipal control authorities in different parts of the country. The samples were collected from retail stores, places serving food, wholesale shops, storehouses and manufacturers‘ premises.

The food products analysed included chopped and minced meat, meat preparations, such as kebab meat and hamburgers, and meat products, such as sausages, whole meat products and meat balls. Sixteen of the products analysed were produced abroad and 34 were produced in Finland. Samples included products from both large companies operating on a national scale, and medium and small businesses operating locally.

Improving the efficiency of work against food product frauds

Regulatory requirements applying to the labelling on food products state that product labels must provide certain information, such as the ingredients used in the product and the producer or commissioner of the product.

"If meat has been used as an ingredient in a food product, the list of ingredients must indicate which animal the meat is from. The producer and importer of the product are responsible for ensuring that the product complies with regulatory requirements and that the product labels provide correct product information", Peusa points out.

Improving the efficiency of work against food product frauds has been considered necessary throughout the EU. One reason for this is the horse meat scandal in the spring of 2013. The sampling project carried out in May-June 2014 was a follow-up to the project carried out in 2013. The authorities’ aim is to identify food product frauds and to determine their international scope more effectively than before.

Read more:
The sampling project carried out in 2013

Further information:
Senior Inspector Jussi Peusa, Product Safety Unit, tel. +358 50 379 2862

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