Food Safety

FSA issues statement on bute in horsemeat

Contrary to reports, no horsemeat in recent scandal tested positive

January 24, 2013
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FSA issues statement on bute in horsemeat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a statement refuting reports that horsemeat found in burgers last week may have contained phenlybutazone, or “bute.” The agency said that samples checked during the recent horsemeat incident came back negative for bute. Horses treated with the anti-inflammatory drug, which has been linked to cancer in humans, are not allowed to enter the food chain. Just as it does for other animals such as sheep or cattle, FSA checks slaughterhouses to ensure that horses are fit for human consumption. In 2012, FSA reported eight cases of horses testing positive for bute, five of which were exported for the food chain. FSA said that where meat had been exported to other countries, the relevant food safety authorities were informed.

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