BRITISH SUPERMARKET CHAIN Asda found “very low levels” of the horse medication phenylbutazone (or bute) in one of its economy corned beef products, the retailer announced today.
The Smart Price Corned Beef tins were withdrawn from shelves last month after a positive horse DNA test. The examinations found the levels were above the one per cent allowed by the UK’s Food Standard Agency.
And, this evening, management revealed further tests showed a positive result for bute at four parts per billion.
The FSA said the quantities discovered pose “a low risk to human health”.
“Bute is not allowed to enter the food chain; however, even if people have eaten products which contain contaminated horse meat, the risk to health is very low.”
Any tins that were sold prior to it being pulled from supermarkets have been recalled. The company has asked “anyone who has tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) in their cupboards at home to bring it back into store for a full refund”.
The tinned Chosen By You Corned Beef (340g) product, also withdrawn in March, has not tested positive for phenylbutazone. However as a precaution it is also being recalled as it is made in the same factory.
Over the past two months, Asda has withdrawn 12 products because of positive horse or pork DNA tests and 43 other items as extra precautions.