Articles | Horses for (main) courses?   

Joe Lott reminds us that all food businesses need to be able to ensure that the food they serve properly complies with its description.


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Joe Lott

Joe Lott

We can't turn on the TV or radio at the moment without hearing something about the horse meat scandal.  And while, so far, there does not seem to be a safety issue, the possibility of contamination of horse meat with phenylbutazone means that even that possibility is not a negligible risk.  
Thus far, the focus in the press has been on the big producers and suppliers.  The household-name supermarkets and frozen-food companies are the ones making the headlines.
But the laws on food labelling and safety apply equally to all food businesses irrespective of size or role in the industry.  Pubs, restaurants and fast-food outlets all have to have policies and systems in place to ensure that they can be satisfied that the products they provide to customers are safe, that the content/ingredients are as advertised and that they can provide traceability of those ingredients in the event of any enquiries. 
Whitbread announced on Friday that traces of horse DNA had been found in lasagne and burgers served at their outlets, apparently in relation to meat supplied by Brakes.  If it can happen to them, it can happen to you too.
All food businesses, no matter how large or small, need to do a full audit of their supply processes and systems to ensure that they are compliant.  It isn't good enough to sit back and wait in the fond hope that the issues won't reach your kitchens.  If you need advice, we can help.  Contact Joe Lott on 0118 951 6352 or for a confidential discussion of your business and any concerns that you may have.