BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados health authorities Wednesday said that no meat product containing horsemeat had been imported into the country in light of the controversy currently sweeping Europe.
Senior Veterinary Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Mark Trotman, said “extensive trace back investigations” had been conducted and to date, none of the identified products had been imported into the island.
“Since the situation is continuing and new companies and products are being identified daily, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that none of the adulterated products are imported commercially into Barbados,” Dr. Trotman said.
Last month, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland reported that after a targeted study examining the authenticity of a number of beef burger, beef meal and salami products available from retail outlets, horsemeat was found to be in some beef products.
Since then, more beef products have been named including products manufactured and sold across Europe, including the United Kingdom and France.
Dr. Trotman said that while horsemeat is considered a delicacy in many European countries its presence is not in itself a health concern. But he said that horsemeat in a product labelled as beef is “an adulteration and is, therefore, unacceptable”.
The Senior Veterinary Officer said concerns had also been raised about the potential for drug residues, such as phenylbutazone, which was a common veterinary drug used in horses that could be harmful if present in meat consumed by humans.