LONDON – British authorities on Tuesday raided a slaughterhouse and a meat processing company suspected of selling horse meat labeled as beef for kebabs and burgers, shutting them down temporarily and seizing all the meat found.
It was the first time since the growing scandal broke across Europe that horse meat being marketed as beef has been traced to suppliers in Britain, officials said, raising questions about how widespread the practice is.
Millions of burgers and frozen meals have been recalled around Europe and many accusations have been made, but so far it’s not clear how horse meat got introduced into so many beef products. French authorities have already pointed to an elaborate supply chain that involved Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders that resulted in horse meat disguised as beef.
Britain’s Food Standards Agency said it suspended production at the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in northern England’s Yorkshire and a company it allegedly supplied horse carcasses to, Farmbox Meats, in west Wales. The agency said it was investigating how “meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse.”
“It is shocking that we actually found this practice going on within the U.K.,” Environment Secretary Owen Patterson said.