By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority issues statement amid growing scandal across Europe
Abu Dhabi's retail market is free from any horsemeat, according to the emirate's food safety regulator, amid a growing scandal across Europe.
No horsemeat is present in any foods at any wholesalers or vendors in the emirate, said the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the body responsible for food safety and agriculture in the emirate.
Mohammed Al Reyaysa, a spokesperson for ADFCA, said a comprehensive survey conducted upon receiving alerts from WHO's International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) confirmed there are no meat products that violate the standards in the emirate.
ADFCA is aware of all updates, alerts and international developments relating to food safety monitoring and takes immediate measures to ensure no products that violate food safety standards, he said in comments published by news agency WAM.
His comments come as the European Union decided to start testing for the presence of unlabelled horsemeat in foods across the continent.
Tests will also be carried out for the presence of residues of the drug phenylbutazone, used on horses but banned from entering the food chain.
On Wednesday, Fine Fare Food Market, which operates Spinneys and Waitrose supermarkets in the UAE, said it was running DNA tests on its frozen beef products.
Both supermarkets said that while all of their fresh beef products are 100 percent beef, they will run DNA tests on frozen beef items to reassure customers.
The European food scandal has exposed flawed food safety controls. Routine tests by Irish authorities last month discovered horsemeat in beef burgers stocked in some of the UK’s largest retailers.
Concerns have since grown after a number of British retailers were forced to withdraw their meat products after tests revealed that some beef products contained as much as 100 percent horsemeat.
All food items stocked in the UAE must be approved by authorities before permission is granted for them to be sold.
Spinneys and Waitrose said that none of the companies that supply frozen beef products they stock have been implicated in the European beef scandal.
No horse but probably camel meat instead!