Local meat best says MP

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has urged residents to buy local to ensure they are not inadvertently eating horsemeat.

Following the news that frozen food items sold by Findus and Tesco – beef lasagne and Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese respectively – were found to contain horsemeat, Guy Opperman has said he would not blame any of his constituents for not currently wanting to buy or eat imported processed beef.

“The best way to know what you are eating is to buy fresh British meat, ideally from a good local butcher who will know where it was sourced,” he added.

“The truth is you can only squeeze down the price so far before quality is compromised. Local farmers that I speak to in my Hexham constituency have long been sceptical of this very cheap processed meat coming from the continent. The simplest way to know you are eating good-quality and safe beef is to look for the Red Tractor label and buy British.”

In the wake of these revelations, the National Beef Association is calling for more precise labelling of products. It says that all UK beef should be labelled with the words ‘United Kingdom origin’ printed on its packaging.

Earlier this week, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told MPs in the House of Commons of plans to test all processed beef products across the supply chain in the UK.