News & Blogs

Very low levels of bute found in Asda Smart Price Corned Beef

Updated 9th April 2013

Back in January our commitment to you was to keep you up to date on the testing programme that’s been under way since horse DNA was first reported to have been found in food products in the UK.

We have taken an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning and have carried out more than 700 tests, moving swiftly to remove any products from our shelves whenever we’ve had the smallest concerns. Our commitment to you is to continue to test our products regularly and update you with the very latest news as soon as we can.

In March 2013 we withdrew tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) after receiving a positive test for horse DNA above the 1% trace level set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Today, 9th April 2013, tests on further batches have shown a positive result for very low levels of horse medication called phenylbutazone, also known as bute, at 4 parts per billion.

The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we’ve found pose a low risk to human health. They say: “Bute is not allowed to enter the food chain; however, even if people have eaten products which contain contaminated horse meat, the risk to health is very low.”

Although there is a very low health risk, we are recalling this product. This simply means that we ask anyone who has tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) in their cupboards at home to bring it back into store for a full refund.

The tinned Chosen By You Corned Beef (340g) product, also withdrawn in March, has not tested positive for phenylbutazone. However as a precaution it is also being recalled as it is made in the same factory.

Ade McKeon, the Asda director responsible for the quality of all our own branded products, says: "I know our customers will be just as concerned about this news as we are. Even at such a low level, it is totally unacceptable.

“I can reassure our customers that we are working closely with the FSA and our suppliers to deliver a wide ranging and rigorous programme of testing, to be sure that the products we sell are exactly what it says on the label.”

We want you to have complete confidence in the food you buy at Asda and we are happy to refund any product you’re not 100% happy with. If you’re concerned about anything in relation to the food we sell please call us on 0800 952 0101.

Click here for a full list of all products withdrawn over the last two months.

Posted in News & Blogs on 09 April 2013