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 93.

    Our local Alpaca farm now operates "field to fork" and supplies the local farmers market. I was a bit cautious at first but now have it regularly. I rather imagine farmers might turn to rearing alpacas for meat in increasing numbers if the price is right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    It`s the EU label that gets me,, does that mean it is not British,, I try to buy British in everything,,

    I don`t want EU labels I want British labels.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Had a delicious Horsemeat Lasagne last night. Very nice though i think i got a bit of mane in mine. Label said 100% horsemeat- now that is accurate labelling for you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    I have started using my local butchers and now am wondering why I never used them in the first place. Nicer meat, a little pricier but worth it, and a much friendlier experience and someone who is appreciative of your custom.

    Much nicer to be treated as a human than a stat/number/walking wallet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    I'd already stopped eating processed chicken (animal welfare) & have now stopped eating all processed meat. I used to buy microwave meals for my work lunches but this week I made a hairy dieters skinny lasagne using fresh beef. I've portioned it up so it will last 6 lunches. It was cheaper than buying 6 microwave meals & tastes delicious. Horsemeat might be fine but I don't want to eat it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    It would do us all good to remember that Supermarket 'apologies' aren't altruistic gestures, it's purely a carefully marketed damage limitation exercise to slow the decline in demand. Having closed down far too many smaller independent food retailers, they know all too well that consumers often have little choice to shop elsewhere, so it's only a matter of time before history will repeat itself..

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    This horse meat scandal is going to be a great excuse to increase prices by claiming that extra checks to ensure quality are so much more expensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    When we had mad cow disease our meat was banned across Europe as fast as a horse out of a stall......shouldn't we not ban processed meat from Europe until they sort things out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Horsemeat scandal 'changing shoppers' habits'- I must admit I am picking my nose a bit more that i used to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.


    >I always look at the labels due to allergies.

    The big joke of course are the bags of Sainsbury's peanuts that say "contains nuts" which is of course incorrect are peanuts are legumes (beans) and not nuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    To be honest the horsemeat was probably the healthiest thing in these processed products. But if it stops people eating these things it has turned out to "Make a bad thing good".
    Always remember that these products are cheap for a reason

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Where there is an opportunity to maximise profit food suppliers will try to get away with whatever & whenever they can - sometimes within the law but often outside the law.

    It isn't a new thing - just type "historical adulteration of uk food" into your interweb seach engine and scroll through what comes up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    proof that the F.S.A were not doing their job in the first place. I have no faith in the food supply for years now, what with all the chemicals, fats, sugars, salt, and antibiotics being pumped into food these days, and the rise of illnesses related to our food, that we are told is our fault never the food suppliers themselves

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    What is actually left on the shelves in the meat section at Tesco?!

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    The more sceptical amongst us suspect this whole scenario could be nothing more than a government ruse to try and get us all eating what is considered more healthy food. This food would be shipped all over the world but, by and large, only the UK is kicking up such a stink.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Any meat, any plot of land will do for Tesco hungry men. Watch
    your pets and back gardens!

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Just how much talk does there have to be? How many angles to be viewed just to fill a few column inches by "journalists" trying to justify their jobs? Food was mis labelled . Find the perpetrators and get them into court. Job done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    For years the government has warned that red meat is bad for health yet people still have the "red neck" attitude and continue to eat it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    So the "Consumer group" doesn't call for retailer's "compliant" status with regulators to be removed (leading to more inspections, more information given, etc) - they also do not call for any retailer prosecutions?
    Retailers assured us all that their self regulatory checks were sufficient to protect the food chain, they were not.
    Big business has consumer groups, MPs, regulators in their pockets

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    This scandal has been a big eye opener for both industry and the consumer.

    For industry, realising that by continually squeezing prices for suppliers someone will be forced to cut corners to make a profit. For the consumer, realising what really goes into cheap processed products.


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