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 733.

    @718 Jester.
    I think you must be thinking of Charlton Athletic didn't they go out for a Duck recently ?
    Very confusing, though they did warn us about eating all that Beef in the Nineties. That Mad cow stuff was terrible, quite a suprise when the other Tories kicked her out !

  • rate this

    Comment number 732.

    Hey take back your life. Who (honestly) trusts/believes that this type of food is, well, actually food. Those making a buck would never serve this to their own family. You know it, I know it, so don't buy it and put these people out of business so they themselves have to eat it. won't happen of course, but makes one smile.
    Now we have a new pope, to take care of our soul
    It just never stops.

  • rate this

    Comment number 731.

    706.anncbd 1 Hour ago
    Agreed but the chocolate companies haven't taken use of fair trade fare not major jam or cake companies use fairtrade sugar in their products. M&S use fairtrade sugar in their conserve but sell no fair trade chocolate at all since they started having big brands in their stores (don't even sell Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 730.

    Personally im less than convinced that supermarkets have learnt any genuine lessons from this and that they continue to pull the wool over our eyes in respect to food quality & safety in general. What we need a truly independent fully funded regulator capable of putting them out of business if they don’t start behaving. Your never get it though with this government. Just waffle & hot air instead

  • rate this

    Comment number 729.

    Public trust in the food industry has declined? Hmm, I never had much trust in them anyway to begin with. We who eat this kind of stuff have always known that what we were eating were most likely the scraps that most mammals wouldn't touch with anothers appendage, but it's cheap and I'm on a budget.

  • rate this

    Comment number 728.

    The hotel/catering industry is a whole different ball game entirely and is more complex than sinply as meals are often an extra add on to a room and may be provided in association with other chains that are not necessarily part of the same group as the hotel.

  • rate this

    Comment number 727.

    thankfully, we haven't eaten 'processed meat' for years, precisely for this reason. Sadly this 'contaminated meat' practice has been going on for years, because suppliers are always looking to cut costs, being squeezed by supermarkets and therefore cheaper meat 'substitutes' are invariably used. Having worked for a large processed poultry manufacturer, I know exactly what goes into their produce..

  • rate this

    Comment number 726.


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

    I'm far from convinced that it doesn't contain rat and cat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 725.

    One of the biggest thing that effects what shop the variety of shops in any given area is the income of the customers in that area/whether stores are located in deprived inner city area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 724.

    And now Tesco is buying Giraffe?

  • rate this

    Comment number 723.

    Horse meat in the food!

    They don't call this stuff 'mystery meat' without a reason.

  • rate this

    Comment number 722.

    2000 People That's not a very big sample hardly conclusive enough to for assessing people's habits. I never brought beef products from cheaper supermarkets anyway as and I don't eat ready meals. My meat usually comes from the butchers a farmhouse shop or very occassionally M&S.

  • rate this

    Comment number 721.

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

    Perhaps but are they searching for other animal DNA as well as horse???

    They have only found horse DNA because they looked for horse DNA.

    Are they also looking for other animal DNA as well apart from beef & horse????

  • rate this

    Comment number 720.

    I have been with horses for over 50 years I have bred them, trained them, raced them, and loved them all. However I have no qualms about eating horsemeat, the meat is on par if not moreso than beef, it is much leaner and in my opinion tastier.
    The problem is Britain was built on the back of the horse, which is why I and millions more respect this wonderful and gentle animal.

  • rate this

    Comment number 719.

    No surprises here: why all this fuss about horse when most consumers seem to behave like sheep?
    Incidentally i'm just getting stuck into a ham roll with meat from Swain's butchers in the Newgate market - the best in York! Supermarket rubbish not actually required...

  • rate this

    Comment number 718.

    708 paul said "@705 Bizarre isn't it [...]"

    Yup. Scarily so.

    "Meanwhile we trundle slowly down the long path leading to "Soylent Green" !!
    Where's Charlton Heston when you need him ?"

    Gone over to the Dark Side, using a pseudonym, and doing arcane things to desserts with liquid nitrogen.

    Or I may have got that wrong...

  • rate this

    Comment number 717.

    People urged to buy British is a con"

    No, people are urged to buy LOCAL British - devil as always in the detail.

  • rate this

    Comment number 716.

    Why are we surprised recently when we find pork in Halal prison food?


    PORK DNA (in Halal food)
    More WATER and LESS MEAT than labelled.

    What we are buying off a retailer?
    Previously frozen or not?
    May contain up to 12% water, salt, and sodium phosphate.


  • rate this

    Comment number 715.

    709 who2believe said [...] "Money talks."

    Unfortunately that's the only language this govt understands. So don't expect any change soon that impacts on Big Business interests.

  • rate this

    Comment number 714.

    Utter rubbish. No one sane has changed their eating habits, the rest will quickly revert to the usual most convienient processed food at the lowest price.


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