Mystery meat found in London curries could be of `dog or cat`

Last Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 18:00

London: Europe`s horsemeat scandal took a new turn when a mystery meat was found in some Indian takeaway dishes here, which could be even of `dog or cat`.
`Horsemeat Banquet`, a BBC documentary revealed that even scientists were baffled after tests on an Indian lamb curry showed no trace of lamb, chicken, pork, mutton, beef or even horsemeat.
It was, however, ruled out as being human flesh.

Experts examined a range of takeaway meals in London as part of the documentary aired here Wednesday.

When the presenter, Rick Edwards suggested that the unknown meat found in Indian dishes could be of cat or dog, nutritionist Surinder Phull said that "any animal with flesh similar to lamb" could have been used.

"At this moment, the lab is unable to identify exactly which animal this meat came from," a spokesperson for the show said.

Other tests revealed that so-called "beef" in some popular Chinese dishes was actually made entirely from chicken blood and a little chicken.

Indian and Chinese meals are the most popular takeaway dishes in Britain and the latest discovery led to renewed calls for rigorous tests on various meat being served across the country.

Hindu groups based in the UK have called on the government to enforce stricter disclosure norms after it emerged earlier this month that more than a third of curry restaurants in Scotland were serving a much cheaper beef in place of lamb.

"The issue does raise religious concerns as some Hindus who may eat meat would prefer not to consume beef as cows are considered sacred in our religion," said Anil Bhanot, managing director of Hindu Council UK.

"The government must require strict tests on the food industry so that there is proper disclosure of the source of the meat being sold and served to us and the results of these tests must be made public and transparent so we can make an informed choice," he added.

The latest revelations indicate that the extent of the Europe-wide scandal over suspected horsemeat in products labelled as beef is far from over and may have to be extended beyond a test of horse DNA.

The UK`s Food Standards Agency (FSA) had asked British retailers to test beef products for the presence of more than 1 per cent of horsemeat, with anything above that figure considered to be a sign of adulteration.

The over 5,000 tests results received by the FSA revealed that at least 44 samples tested positive for horse DNA.

Earlier this month, the FSA said preliminary tests had found six new beef products that may contain horse DNA.

Horsemeat was first discovered in January in frozen burgers on sale in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and since then traces have been discovered in processed beef products and prepared meals across the European Union.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 18:00

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