Bute found in Asda corned beef

 

Asda is recalling all corned beef from its budget range after traces of veterinary drug phenylbutazone were found in some batches.

The Food Standards Agency has confirmed that "very low levels" of the painkilling medicine, known as bute, were detected in the Asda Smart Price Corned Beef.

Customers who have bought the 340g tins, with any date code, have been urged not to eat the corned beef but to return it to the supermarket.

Asda withdrew the product on March 8 after it was found to contain more than 1% horse DNA. Bute was detected in some samples, at the level of four parts per billion (4ppb), when further tests were carried out.

The corned beef is the only meat product in which bute has been found, according to the FSA.

Bute had been discovered in horse carcasses in February however, with the highest level found being 1900ppb.

The FSA said no other Asda products are thought to be affected and that customers who bought the corned beef should contact the supermarket for a refund.

They said that while animals treated with bute should not enter the food chain, the risk of damage to the health of anyone who had eaten such meat is "very low".

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies previously said: "Horse meat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health.

"Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis."

She said the levels of bute previously found in horse carcasses meant a person would have to eat up to 600 burgers, containing 100% horse meat, every day to come close to consuming a human's daily dose of the drug.

Dame Sally added: "In patients who have been taking phenylbutazone as a medicine there can be serious side effects but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horse meat containing bute will experience one of these side effects."

Horse carcasses in the UK need to have a negative bute test before they can enter the food chain.

In a statement on the Asda website, the supermarket said it was also recalling tins of Chosen By You corned beef.

"The tinned Chosen By You Corned Beef (340g) product, also withdrawn in March, has not tested positive for phenylbutazone," the statement read.

"However as a precaution it is also being recalled as it is made in the same factory."

Asda claimed to have taken "an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning" and had carried out more than 700 tests so far, "moving swiftly to remove any products" when they had any concerns.

The supermarket added: "The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we've found pose a low risk to human health."

Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said: "It is deeply worrying that bute, a drug banned from the human food chain, has been discovered in one brand of corned beef.

"This product was withdrawn from sale on March 8 yet has only been formally recalled now, after testing positive for bute, meaning people could have unwittingly been eating meat containing this drug for the last month.

"This exposes the weaknesses in the Government's handling of the horsemeat scandal where products were withdrawn but in some cases not tested either for horsemeat or bute. The interests of the consumer should have been put first."

In a separate development earlier in the day, the FSA said that two more beef products had been found to contain horse DNA as part of the UK-wide sampling they had undertaken.

The FSA confirmed results for four of the remaining five samples tested under the programme, adding that all five products had already been removed from sale.

Neither of the two samples containing horse DNA at or above the 1% threshold for reporting - a burger bought from Nefyn Pizza and Kebab House in Gwynedd and manufactured by the Burger Manufacturing Company and a beefburger bought from Pig Out in Walsall and manufactured by King Fry Meat Products - were found to contain bute or pig DNA.

There is one result yet to be reported.

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss