Horsemeat tests put on hold

  • 2013-02-20
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - The Estonian Veterinary and Food Board doesn’t intend to start checking meat products on sale in Estonia for now, despite the fact that the horsemeat scandal has reached Finland, reports Eesti Paevaleht.
The board’s director general Ago Partel said that he doesn’t see reason for wider control. “One or 20 tests that we could take now would be like shooting a gun in a pitch black forest,” Partel said, certain that the number of beef products is too big in Estonia to find anything.

Partel said also that in the case of veal goulache, that was withdrawn from sale in the Lidl chain in Finland, it hasn’t been proven for sure that it contains horsemeat. This is one of the reasons why Estonia should not yet launch checkups. It will depend on further developments if the Board will start the inspections, which will happen “when a product containing horsemeat has reached our market or a product from the same company. We don’t have a Lidl chain,” assured Partel.
It is recommended that Estonian authorities take 10 samples when the European Commission decides that checking beef is obligatory for all member states. The tests are rather expensive, and since Estonian labs don’t test for horsemeat - just one company, Maag Group, deals with horsemeat in Estonia - the horsemeat should be looked for in Finland or Sweden, where analyses are even more expensive.