Three arrested in horse meat probe

Three arrested in horse meat probe

Tests for 'bute' in Findus food products have come back negative

George Emond of Halliwells Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders, puts up his posters advertising local butchers as the horsemeat scandal continues

First published in National News © by

Three men have been arrested by police officers investigating the horse meat scandal.

The men were arrested at plants in Aberystwyth and Todmorden, West Yorkshire, which were inspected on Tuesday by the Food Standards Agency.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "Dyfed-Powys Police have made arrests at both meat plants inspected by the Food Standards Agency on Tuesday.

"At Farmbox Meats near Aberystwyth, Dyfed-Powys Police have arrested two men aged 64 years and 42 years, and in a simultaneous operation police arrested a man aged 63 at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Approvals for both operations were suspended yesterday by the FSA so neither firm was operational.

"Dyfed Powys Police can confirm the three people have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Fraud Act and they are being detained at Aberystwyth Police Station where they will be interviewed jointly by Police and FSA staff in what has this afternoon become a joint operation."

The two plants became the first UK suppliers suspected of passing off horse meat for beef. Production at both plants was suspended pending the outcome of investigations into claims they supplied and used horse carcasses in meat products purporting to be beef for burgers and kebabs.

Authorities in Britain and France are trying to trace the carcasses of six horses contaminated with bute - which were slaughtered in a UK abattoir and may have entered the human food chain across the Channel. The drug, which is potentially harmful to human health, was detected in eight horses out of 206 tested by the FSA in the first week of this month.

Tests on Findus processed beef products withdrawn from sale in the UK after the discovery of traces of horse meat found no evidence of phenylbutazone - or "bute" - which is banned from products intended for human consumption.

Meanwhile Asda has withdrawn its 500g beef bolognese sauce from shelves after tests revealed the presence of horse DNA, the supermarket chain said. The company apologised to customers and said it was taking a "belt-and-braces approach" by removing a further three beef products made by the same supplier, Greencore, as a precaution.

The three products withdrawn by Asda as a precaution are the 600g Beef Broth Soup, the 500g Meat Feast Pasta Sauce and the 400g Chilli Con Carne Soup.

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