Tesco sells pork chops labelled as British-reared but tests shows meat comes from HOLLAND

The product with a Red Tractor symbol on it was bought by a researcher
Logo tells the consumer the product was reared in this country
But meat was sent for tests in Germany where the origin was discovered
Tesco said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ about the findings

PUBLISHED: 17:28, 16 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:28, 16 September 2013

Tesco has been found selling pork chops labelled as British that are actually likely to have come from Holland.

The discovery represents a major embarrassment for the supermarket as it comes after claims that the sourcing of meat had been cleaned up following the horsemeat scandal.

Earlier this year, Tesco and others were found to have sold beef burgers that actually contained high levels of cheap horse meat from eastern Europe.

At the time, the company promised a major overhaul of its supply system with a shift to support British farmers and carry out stringent checks on the origin of its meat.

However, tests carried out on one pack of fresh pork chops carrying the Red Tractor logo, which is designed to identify British food, showed it was imported, most likely from Holland.

The discovery was made by a BBC investigation for the Farming Today and You & Yours programmes, where a researcher bought packs of chops from a Tesco in Salford.

The samples were sent to laboratories in Germany as part of a joint exercise with the British Pig Executive (BPEX), which promotes UK pork farming.

These tests, known as Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis, are able to identify the country of origin of meat based on its composition. The results suggested there was less than a 1per cent chance that the two pork chops actually came from Britain.

Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, said: ‘We are extremely disappointed to discover a pork loin product probably came from a Dutch farm, not a British farm.

‘When we specify that we want British pork, we expect to be supplied with British pork. We have spoken with our supplier to make clear that this mistake is unacceptable.’

The supplier, Cranswick Country Foods, said it had reviewed its systems and had told its customers they can be confident its products are correctly labelled.

It said the meat involved came from another supplier, FA Gill Ltd, a family-owned meat company in Wolverhampton. However, the firm denied responsibility, saying it does not deal with Dutch meat.

‘We correctly label the products we sell to our customers and we have the documentation to prove this,’ it said.

The BPEX director, Mick Sloyan, described the false label as an isolated case. ‘Human error can occur. This is not going to happen on a regular basis,’ he said.

‘I think we have shown that this technology works and it provides an extra level of reassurance for consumers in the traceability systems that we adopt.’

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