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 113.

    @105 Sheeple

    You seriously think there is some difference between water and "microwaved water" ?

    Oh dear, it seems we need to improve our teaching of science in schools

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    I wish they would test for mor ethan just horse and beef, because I believe most processed foods in this country are mislabeled. I have absolutely no faith in supermarkets and the content of their food and haven't for years now. For the past couple of years, I have refused to buy any processed foods at all and use my local farmers' market instead. That way I know exactly what I'm being sold.

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    People need to start exploring the little independant shops, the big supermarkets are very close to holding a total monopoly over where we buy our food, you may think they're in competition, but they actually work together. Example:

    Our laziness and misplaced trust will soon cost us dearly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    This horse meat scandal highlights the underlying methods of supermarkets and others:

    1. Shirts labelled 100% cotton that are nearer 100% polyester
    2. Discounts that are much higher prices than last week
    3. Deceptive descriptions (eg: sodium for salt) that conceal the content
    4. Dangerous fats renamed to hide them


    Like many politicians, the Public are simply seen as 'plebs' to con.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    I think people were more upset about being lied to about their food rather than the fact they were eating horse meat. I`m unaware of any risk to heath by eating horse meat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg! Do we know what actually goes into making the other things we buy everyday? What about ready-made sauces, tin food, etc etc?

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    I'm utterly amazed that people still buy cheap processed meat/chicken products. How much of a warning does one need?! Eat the real thing, pay more for good quality but eat less - we don't need to eat so much meat/chicken (high protein flesh); we can easily survive on considerably less.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    Most supermarkets have been taking the mick for years They set the spec for the meals in question which due to cost has got to be made with all the rubbish know wants to buy I have been to factories that make processed meals Sausages and Burgers and it is not a pretty site Supermarkets could not care less there in it for profit and they will continue to take advantage of the consumer

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    I applaude your change towards "real"food, however onced placed in a microwave you have distroyed its nutritional value.

    A simple test, take two identical plants, water one with plain water, the other with microwaved water. You will be shocked after a few days/weeks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    I firmly believe that the supermarket chains colluded with the suppliers to deliberately deceive their customers.

    The prices they pay for the contaminated products, alluded to by M. Walker, (CEO Iceland) shows that they must have known something was amiss.
    Furthermore, that the horsemeat used is safe, tends to condemn the supermarkets further; organised crime wouldn't care about its safety.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    I have been buying my monce from a butchers for about 10 years, its the only meat I buy in there as it is more expensive that the supermarket. But I always know not to trust the mince from the supermarket. I would rather have a mouthfull of what I know is meat than a platefull of cheap god knows what. My butcher has increased trade but he knows people will be squeezed back to the supermarket

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    I wonder if the burgger chain sales have gone up as the can't cook/won't cook brigade who were buying the processed food to start off with go somewhere else.
    I bet McD's is still plenty full of dobin though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    My personal shopping habits have changed drastically, not only through the horsemeat scandal but also through use of non paid labour via the benefits regime. I rarely use supermarkets anymore preferring to shop locally at butchers, greengrocers, bakers etc.
    I know many more who have taken the same stance as myself, these companies seem to forget they rely on us for profits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    "The home secretary was considering introducing restrictions amid concerns about illegal immigration from Brazil.
    But Mrs May has shelved the plan following protests about its impact on efforts to boost business links with the country"

    If business can dictate to govt on immigration policy , can it do the same on dealing with food labelling offences and anything else ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    This "survey" is rather disingenuous as many products have been taken from the shelves are not available and therefore customers don't have the choice. Try finding the (formerly) popular frozen burgers in the freezer cabinets at Tesco. They are not there, so ofcourse customers will buy other things.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    I'd like to know when are they going to start testing other meat products like fish!? Recent test in the U.S. have showed one third of seafood samples purchased across the U.S. States was mislabeled. Nearly 60 percent of the time, fish labeled as tuna was another fish! Information taken from (Link below)

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    "All I ask is that what is in the package is what is printed on the label so that an informed choice can be made. It aint rocket science to do that is it ??"

    People tell the truth roughly 50% of the time, so....yes. Note: untruth is not the same as dishonesty e.g. many people just don't know the truth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    80. Ben: 'What is actually left on the shelves in the meat section at Tesco?!'

    Lots of third rate meat that no body is buying anymore!

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    60% seems a lot. Presumably the other 40% weren't buying finders lasange and tesco value burgers in the first place?

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    I stopped buying meat from the supermarkets a few years ago and only use my local butcher, the price is not that much more and the meat tastes better. I dont trust supermarkets!


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