Iceland anti-FSAI posters still on display


Frozen food retailer Iceland was still displaying large posters in its British shop windows yesterday describing a DNA test by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) as not accredited, despite apologising for earlier criticism of the tests.

An Iceland spokesman said the posters were in the process of being removed and should be gone by today.

The FSAI tests published last month found that two Iceland burgers contained traces of horse DNA, at 0.1 per cent. On BBC’s Panorama programme earlier this week, Iceland chief executive Malcolm Walker said no horse meat had been found in an Iceland product.

‘Deeply sorry’

When asked about the Irish test result, he said “Well, that’s the Irish isn’t it?” Iceland later apologised on his behalf and said it was “deeply sorry” for any offence caused to Irish people and to the FSAI.

Iceland said it accepted that the FSAI obtained valid test results from an accredited laboratory using a methodology commonly used in the burger industry. It also said equine contamination of 0.1 per cent was not acceptable.

However, the posters on display in London yesterday repeated the criticism of the FSAI test. The Iceland spokesman said the supermarket chain had amended its website in light of the apology “but the logistics of changing window posters in almost 800 stores are somewhat more complex and time-consuming”.

Meanwhile, the House of Commons has withdrawn four beef products from its restaurants and canteens because of horse meat concerns.

A House of Commons spokesman said it had withdrawn steak and kidney pie, beef and onion pie, steak and kidney suet pudding, and beef Italian meatballs.

He said the move was “precautionary” after one of the House’s suppliers, Brakes, announced it was carrying out tests. Brakes said tests on all four items were negative for equine DNA.

The Czech Republic last night became the latest country to detect horse meat in food products labelled as beef. The discovery was made by the state-run Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority.