Trading Standards officers from Derbyshire County Council are working with the Food Standards Agency to check for horsemeat in beef products. 

The authority is one of 28 local authorities in the UK asked by the FSA to take part in the large-scale survey following the discovery of horsemeat in burgers and frozen lasagne. Officers from Derbyshire Trading Standards are taking samples of beef burgers, minced beef and meatballs from around the county, including from supermarkets, wholesalers, small retailers and caterers.

The samples will then be sent away for analysis with the results due to be published by the FSA in April.

''We are supporting the Government’s drive to thoroughly investigate beef products so consumers can be confident in what they are buying.  In Derbyshire, our Trading Standards team continually monitor all kinds of produce to check its quality and content.  We also have a strong Animal Welfare team.''

“We are happy to be working with the FSA to help ensure shoppers have confidence in what they are buying.”

Every year Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards takes hundreds of food samples to protect the health and wellbeing of Derbyshire residents, where we send samples collected to one of three labs we employ in England. 

Last year we launched a campaign to reduce the level of salt and sugar in bread and sausages produced by local bakers and butchers, I was pleased with the uptake from our Food and Drink Sector which has a wealth of locally produced goods which are healthy options and correctly labelled for consumers.

In fact, our School Meals service only sources meat produced by two local organic farms, which have strong traceability, including knowing the origins of the animals from where the meat came from.  We also randomly and regularly check the food that is produced by our School Meals Services which is free from any ready meal preparation.

As I said on BBC Radio Derby this morning, whilst as a nation we get to grips to this food fraud, and following our efforts to support the FSA national survey programme which I am confident will lead to tighter industry regulation and food labelling standards, ''support your local butcher on the high street and in our local markets, ask where they sourced their meet from, and ask for preparation and cooking tips when shopping, this level of service is not available from a supermarket shelve''.

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