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Horse meat sales on the rise despite contamination scandal

Horse meat sales on the rise despite contamination scandal

Food retailers have experienced an increase in demand for horse meat over the past few months, despite last year's contamination scandal.

An unnamed retailer has reported selling around 1,200 horse meat products per month, including steaks, mince and meatballs.

Darren Beale, who owns health product website Muscle Food, told the Mirror: "Ever since horse meat was in the news last year, we have been getting a steady flow of requests to stock it."

He added that the meat has "a similar taste to beef, but perhaps a little sweeter".

In January 2013, scandal broke out across the UK following the discovery of horse meat samples in products that were being labelled as beef and sold by major retailers and fast-food outlets, including Asda, Tesco, Aldi, the Co-operative and Burger King. 

Some burgers and ready meals were found to contain 100 per cent horse meat, despite being labelled otherwise.

The contamination was traced to an Irish factory, which had used meat sourced from Polish suppliers.

However, since the scandal, the European Union has announced plans to introduce a new testing process for meat to ensure all contamination is eradicated in the future.

Nationwide outrage followed, but a recent increase in sales suggests that consumers are beginning to understand the nutritional benefits of the lean meat. It is also relatively cheaper than other types of meat, priced at around £4.50 for two fillet steaks, while the same amount of beef costs double.

Walter Murray, owner of alternative meat retailer Kezie Foods, told the Mirror that horse meat is now one of its best-selling products, beating sales of alpaca, zebra and other meats significantly.

Horse meat is regularly enjoyed in European countries, including France, Italy and Germany and leading figures like Princess Anne have suggested that it should be sold in supermarkets in the UK too.

Speaking in November 2013, she said that selling the meat alongside chicken, beef and pork could encourage more people to see horses as valuable livestock and therefore treat them better.

 

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