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 657.

    But the largest percentage of the population live in cities where they do not have access to butchers (all replaced by coffee shops and phone shops), & often don't have the room for a proper kitchen & freezer to make and save their own safe food economically. Most town supermarkets instill so little confidence in cleanliness that I only buy food in tins & packages anyway. Sad state of affairs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 649.

    Grandfather was a Master Butcher, he bought all his meat 'on the carcass' and carefully inspected each one as it was delivered. When you grilled his bacon, the only thing that came out of it was a light golden fat.
    When cooked, almost all bacon today exudes a nauseous whitish grey slime which is a mix of fat, water and chemistry. Pre-pack chicken and turkey just as bad - water and preservatives

  • rate this

    Comment number 618.

    I was brought up on home cooked fresh food on a low budget and learnt to cook. When I worked long hours, I tried ready meals and processed food but couldn't find one that tasted the same, and never have. So continued to cook my own fresh. With a freezer, you can cook cheaply and quickly , store excess, and know exactly what your and your family are eating.

  • 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 !


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