Horsemeat scandal 'changing shoppers' habits'


Some shoppers explain why they are changing their buying habits

More than half of UK consumers have changed their shopping habits as a result of the horsemeat scandal, a consumer group survey suggests.

The survey by Which? found that 60% of 2,000 adults questioned online had changed how they shop, with many now buying less processed meat.

It also suggested that public trust in the food industry had declined.

Horsemeat has been found in a number of processed beef products across Europe, raising questions about the food chain.

Executive director of Which? Richard Lloyd: "There has been a collapse in confidence in the food industry"

"The horsemeat scandal exposed the need for urgent changes to the way food fraud is detected and standards are enforced," said Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.

Some 68% of those surveyed do not think the government has been giving enough attention to enforcing labelling laws, with half of consumers not confident ingredient information is accurate.

"These serious failings must be put right if consumers are to feel fully confident in the food they are buying once more," Mr Lloyd said.

The scandal began in January when Irish food inspectors announced that they had found horsemeat in frozen beef burgers made by firms in Ireland and the UK, and sold by a number of UK supermarket chains, including Tesco, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl.

Since then beef products containing horsemeat have been found in a number of European countries, including France, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliamentary select committee chairmen and women on Tuesday that the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the government and retailers all had lessons to learn.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    If it takes a DNA test to know what you are eating, why worry? You obviously don't have a clue. You probably believe the Government telling you it is all under control too. Poor things!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Good lord. Did people seriously think they understood what they were getting when they bought processed meals before?

    If people actually understood how these meals are made to last so long without going off they'd have a bigger shock than it being made out of the wrong animal!

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    To be honest, I'm surprised some enterprising company hasn't tried to make the most of this sudden publicity by selling products openly marked and labelled as horsemeat.

    There's obviously plenty of it about, and we've been eating it with no harm for years now it seems, why not just come out and sell it as such!

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Well the customers have meated it out to thebig brands! Remind me why supermarkets are still allowed to advertise when they have no idea what their products contain? I wrote to the ASA and they were not prepared to ban supermarket advertising! Vested intrest? Time we meatedit out to them?

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    It humours me that certain supermarkets have posters up saying how these events have made them 'change'. Well, if it wasn't for certain supermarkets squeezing producers until the pips squeak forcing them to cut corners in order to remain just about viable this would never have happened.

    Hopefully, the supermarket stranglehold over us has weakened just a little.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    If I buy meat in a supermarket now, it's locally-sourced, over the counter of the butcher's area, so I know it's what I want. I now buy fish from the local fisherman, as if you buy pre-packed fish "fillets" for fish and chips, they are usually formed fillets from pieces of fish. Sometimes they don't specify what fish. And I feel good, as in both cases I'm supporting local farmers and industries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Mock indignation and false apologies from the food industry go on and on.

    When it was screwing suppliers to make huge profits it was not very bothered about where the food came from, as long as it was as cheap as possible then that was fine.

    But now it’s been found out it suddenly very bothered – yeah, bothered about loss of sales and profit – that’s what it’s very bothered about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I'd rather eat horse meat than beef & dairy produced by English farmers who have pushed for the Badger cull!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Really annoyed as I now can't buy my regular supply of horsemeat! All this media scaremongering has effectively cut the supply of this excellent meat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Wow! No Way! Who would have thought it.

    Naahhever !

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I'm amazed..... Frankly I'm surprised it was ONLY horse in some of this processed stuff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    No real change as we didn't buy much processed meat, certainly not ready meals, anyway. And we quite like horsemeat... but we would like honest labelling, no objection to buying horse when we know what we are getting! But this is a house where cooking from scratch is the norm...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    But how long will it be before shoppers revert back to their previous shopping habits as more cuts are brought forward and the story disappears from the headlines


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