Business

Horsemeat scandal 'changing shoppers' habits'

  • 13 March 2013
  • From the section Business
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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.

"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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