The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is demanding more comprehensive meat tests following the revelation that horse meat was found in a number of beef products.
Officials at the organisation want a more stringent process to ensure that problems like these do not occur again in the future. It comes in the wake of the meat content of a batch of recalled Findus beef lasagnes tested positive to containing over 60 per cent horse meat.
The products had been withdrawn by the company after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat that was being used in ready meals. While there is no confirmed health risk to humans the FSA still maintained that it was a "serious issue".
In a statement the organisation said that both the Findus incident and the previous case reported about horse meat in Tesco frozen burgers pointed to "either gross negligence or deliberate contamination in the food chain".
The FSA also noted that both of these instances had been linked to suppliers in Ireland and France and that it would be working with authorities in these countries to find the root of the problem.
Catherine Brown, chief executive of the FSA, has now called for extensive testing of meat products within the food business. She said: "We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagne, and provide the results to the FSA. The tests will be for the presence of significant levels of horse meat."
The revelation of horse meat in supermarket products has sent shockwaves across the UK with a number of major suppliers coming under the spotlight. In the Tesco burgers case, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods along with the Yorkshire-based Dalepak Hambleton were highlighted by the Republic of Ireland's food safety authority.
However, Polish firm Food Service boss Marek Czerniej, whose business was also at the centre of the storm, denied all allegations that it has involved with horse meat when questioned by FoodManufacture.co.uk.