Asda withdraws corned beef after drug discovery

12 April 2013

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12 April 2013 | Adam Leach

Asda has immediately withdrawn its Smart Price Corned Beef products from shelves after tests found low levels of animal medicine in batches of the product.

Tests carried out in March by the supermarket in the wake of the horse meat scandal had already found the 340g tins of the sandwich filler contained more than 1 per cent horse meat. But further tests have now revealed traces of the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone, commonly known as bute, were present in the product.

Adrian Mckeon, ASDA brand director, said: “I know our customers will be just as concerned about this news as we are. Even at such a low level, it is totally unacceptable. I can reassure our customers that we are working closely with the FSA and our suppliers to deliver a wide ranging and rigorous programme of testing, to be sure that the products we sell are exactly what it says on the label.”

While the substance is banned from entering the human food chain, the Food Standards Agency has said the risk posed to people that have eaten the product is low. In a statement, it said: “Bute is not allowed to the food chain; however, even if people have eaten products which contain contaminated horse meat, the risk to health is low.”

Asda has also withdrawn the Chosen By You Corned Beef product as a precaution, because it is made in the same factory as the product found to contain the banned substance. To date, the supermarket has withdrawn a total of 43 products from shelves, some found to contain non-advertised equine DNA, some found to contain non advertised porcine DNA, and many as a precaution.

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