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British watchdog probes stories that meat found in vegetarian meals

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s meals watchdog mentioned it was investigating allegations that traces of meat had been found in “meat-free” and vegan meals offered on the nation’s two largest grocery store chains, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Grey clouds cling over a Tesco Extra retailer in New Malden in southwest London, Britain June four, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

“We are investigating the circumstances surrounding these alleged incidents and any resulting action will depend upon the evidence found,” the Food Standards Agency (FSA) mentioned in an electronic mail on Saturday.

The FSA assertion adopted a report in The Daily Telegraph, which mentioned an investigation by the newspaper had detected traces of turkey in a Tesco vegan macaroni prepared meal and traces of pork in Sainsbury’s “meat-free” meatballs.

Sales of vegetarian and vegan merchandise are rising within the UK, with one in 10 consumers in Britain shopping for a meat-free prepared meal in January 2018, based on information from analysis agency Kantar.

The FSA mentioned its precedence was to make sure that shoppers might be assured that the meals they eat is what it says it’s.

That was not the case in 2013, when traces of horsemeat had been found in some beef merchandise offered in British supermarkets, together with Tesco, in a scandal within the meals business which raised questions in regards to the security of the European provide chain.

Sainsbury’s signage is seen at a grocery store and petrol station in west London, Britain, November eight, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Sainsbury’s mentioned in an announcement that the meat-free meatballs had been made at a meat-free manufacturing unit and that it carried out common checks and had found no points.

“We are concerned by these findings however and are carrying out a comprehensive investigation alongside our supplier,” the grocery store mentioned in an emailed assertion.

Tesco mentioned it had carried out preliminary DNA checks on the product in query, its BBQ Butternut Mac, and found no traces of animal DNA within the product.

“We take the quality and integrity of our products extremely seriously and understand that our vegan and vegetarian products should be exactly that,” Tesco mentioned in an emailed assertion.

“We would urge the Telegraph to share full details of their testing, including the lab used as we continue to investigate.”

The Telegraph mentioned it despatched 10 totally different meals gadgets to a German-government accredited meals testing lab which carried out checks for eight sorts of meat.

Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Helen Popper


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