Butchers see sales rise in wake of horse fears
BUTCHERS have reported an increase in sales in the wake of the horse meat scandal as shoppers turn to more trustworthy sources.
Shoppers have turned to local butchers because the meat is locally sourced and people can see what they are buying, according to shop owners.
Morrisons’ butchers have reported a rise in sales of 18 per cent at their fresh meat counters since the horse meat crisis took hold.
Rich Sell, of Mike McGuire Butchers, in Havelock Street, has also noticed an increase especially in mince and burger sales.
He said: “A lot of customers have come in and spoken about it, and we have noticed a slight increase in the sales.
“It is not going to make us millionaires but there has been an increase, especially in people coming in for mince and fresh beef burgers, “I think people are going to the supermarkets but are not buying their beef products.
“I don’t think the issue is the fact that it is horse meat, if you go to France or other European countries it is available regularly, so it won’t hurt people.
“I think people were more angry that it was labelled as beef and that is against trading standards.
“The benefits of buying from a butcher is that all of our meat products come from within a 30 to 40 mile radius and we are able to give people what they want and they can see it on the counter.”
Since the news broke many shops and local services have tightened up their checks of meat products that are being given to the public.
Patients at the Great Western Hospital can be assured that none of their meat products are sourced from suppliers cited by the Food Standards Agency.
Roger Thomas, the interim director of estates and facilities management at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our main food supplier to the trust has already confirmed that they have not supplied products or ingredients sourced from any of the meat suppliers cited by the Food Standards Agency, and that all meat products do not contain DNA of any species other than that declared on the label.
“We are asking all our suppliers to certify in writing that they have sufficiently robust procedures in place for monitoring the source of meat and meat products, and we are also seeking suitable assurances on the sampling and checking regimes of suppliers with regards to authenticity.”
A Swindon Council spokes-man said: “The Food Standards Agency is leading on the horsemeat investigation and we are liaising with them on an every day basis. “As Swindon does not have any manufacturers’ abattoirs, cutting plants or other meat processing plants, we have not yet been asked by the FSA to carry out any background sampling.
“However, we are ready to respond if contacted by the FSA.
“Companies who provide services such as meals on wheels or school meals have nominated responsible suppliers and the FSA has indicated that the onus is on those suppliers to carry out their own checks.”