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 613.

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

    They only tested for horse...

  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    It hasn't really bothered me that much, I've never trusted food labels. They should've tested for other animals too in my opinion, I wouldn't be surprised if we've all been unwitting cannibals

  • rate this

    Comment number 611.

    I find the whole Giraffe thing rather worrying today..

  • rate this

    Comment number 610.

    600 "Organic though you always know it is ethically produced and although it might be slightly more expensive, it is the best."

    There is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever that organic food is better for you or more nutritious than regular food. You are being conned out of more money than you should be paying. It's almost on the same level as the bottled water con.

  • rate this

    Comment number 609.

    I am always astonished that more people aren't terrified by the knowledge that our entire food and drink supplies are in the hands of private individuals and companies who work for profit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 608.

    Not to mention what other meat is concealed? Ive already heard of donkey meat in foods. A restaurant I used to go to was found to be serving dog meat and was closed down. The less you test for the less you find!

  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    Our appetite for ever cheaper food, EU regulations that outlaw the cheapest supplies of beef (mechanically recovered meat) coupled with the relentless price pressures that the supermarkets put on the supply chain has led to comapnies way down the chain taking shortcuts. Has anyone asked the question - how much should the cheapest genuine beefburger cost? More than is currently charged I suspect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 606.

    I have twice posted suggestions that all food should be as carefully supervised as Kosher and Halal and received negatives.


    Do most people want unsafe unsupervised food in the shops, or is the vote from mindless idiots who vote negatively for anything Jewish or Muslim more powerful than the majority?

    Properly supervised food is already availably to Jews and Muslims, why not for everyone?

  • rate this

    Comment number 605.

    I've changed where I source my meat so I know the history of what I'm buying. I'm now buying from my local butcher/farmer, who's brother does the slaughtering locally. In terms of what I walk out with for £30 it's comparable to what the shops charge anyway, and the quality and taste is vastly better. Also prefer my money staying local rather than in corportate shareholders pockets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 604.

    I have my fresh fish from the fishmonger who calls on fridays so know where fish is sourced from - and as for meats - butchers have started to make their own delicious PORK and apple burgers so bought some to try tonight and again they know whats what ! support local shops farmers markets and stay buying from your local area ps derbyshire in our case so spring lambs also ok !

  • rate this

    Comment number 603.

    FSA both Food & Finance are a toothless quangos which shows that either they are understaffed or incompetent..or both!
    On another serious note
    With Meat Loaf being withdrawn from some stores, the group have re-released a classic to celebrate namely "Like a bite n a smell ( I'll be pong when the morning comes) & "2 outta 3 ate badger"..".

  • rate this

    Comment number 602.

    I produce my own beef, so not affected on that score. I no longer buy processed cold meats. I breed ponies, and don't want to eat horsemeat. Bonnysdad, I doubt if the horsemeat came from equines pumped full of drugs. Poor things probably came from homes where they were not well treated. Drugs, vet bills for horses are expensive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    @596 RBL

    I'd disagree that their lack of contribution is less than a very small percentage of people abusing the benefit system.

    Obviously just because some companies/people abuse the system doesn't mean we should all follow suit, I've never said that.

    I too have emailed my MP, but too many snouts are in the trough for me to expect any results, sadly

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.

    I have been buying organic meat for 30 years now, and always feel safe.
    We have produced our own organic meat but sometimes have to buy outside meat. Organic though you always know it is ethically produced and although it might be slightly more expensive, it is the best.

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    I'm amazed..... Frankly I'm surprised it was ONLY horse in some of this processed stuff.
    They only tested for Horse DNA. They didn't test for Cat, Dog or Rat - all much more easily available than Horse meat. Does anyone really think a criminal gang would care? Of course not. That's why they didn't test for anything else, the results would have made the nation vomit in unison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    No, it changed nothing. I have had such a low opinion of cheap food I consider myself lucky if the worst I ate was contaminated horse meat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 597.

    no doubt TESCO et al will be spending millions on advertising telling us all that they are 'willing to listen to the customer' - Shenanigans - you bloomin well got caught foisting 2nd rate meat onto your customers and into the food chain all to make your shareholders massive profit - if you hadn't been caught you'd STILL be doing it - So why would we believe anything these shysters say ever again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 596.

    @ 581

    becuase a lack of contribution is far less then actively taking from the pot...

    And anyway, jsut becuase some companies dont do the right thing, should we all follow suit?
    You can keep your own standards in life even if those around you lower theirs.
    I have boycotted amazon, starbucks etc, and i have written to my MP, who actually lives on my street but i rarley see him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 595.

    I sit here wondering if the traceability\passport process can allow for species to be changed, what's stopping meat from the same species as being described but unfit for human consumption getting in to the food chain and how do you detect it? DNA testing will just identify Beef is Beef, not that it died in a field of consumption! The rest is just misrepresentation, mis-selling and fraud!

  • rate this

    Comment number 594.

    If you were a supermarket giant that had been deceived by a supplier (and paid top prices), what would you do? 1) Sue the supplier or 2) Go to the expense of paying for adverts in the press. The proper answer is 1) so why didnt supermarkets do it?


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