Wales

Burger Manufacturing Company cleared over horsemeat

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Media captionThe Burger Manufacturing Company said the FSA could have waited until tests were fully conclusive

New tests have cleared a Powys company suspected of supplying beef burgers containing horsemeat.

The Burger Manufacturing Company based near Builth Wells withdrew its products in February after tests suggested they contained more than 1% horsemeat.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said "subsequent tests confirmed the presence of horse DNA at levels below the 1% threshold for reporting."

The company said the FSA could have waited for conclusive tests.

The Burger Manufacturing Company (BMC) said the traces of equine DNA found were at 0.02% and 0.046%.

BMC director Andrew Sparks said: "I'm told that that's the equivalent of a grain of salt in a box of burgers."

He described the FSA's initial announcement as a "knee jerk" reaction, saying that "they could have waited until the tests were fully conclusive."

BMC was supplied by Farmbox Meats, the production company in west Wales which is part of a police investigation into the horsemeat scandal.

It is believed that this is the first time further testing for horsemeat has led to a company being cleared by the FSA.

The industry's trade organisation, the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers claims all the tests on beef from Farmbox Meats are clear.

The association's Steve Lomax said: "All the allegations against Farmbox are unfounded".

He said only one test showed up equine DNA, but at just 0.1%, compared with a threshhold of 1%.

The FSA has declined to make any statement beyond its initial announcement.

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