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Meat testing: A fifth of samples reveal unspecified animals' DNA

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More than a fifth of meat sample tests in 2017 found DNA from animals not on the labelling, the BBC has learned.

Out of 665 results from England, Wales and Northern Ireland collected by the Food Standards Agency, 145 were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat.

The FSA said the levels were consistent with "deliberate inclusion" - but added testing had targeted those businesses suspected of "compliance issues".

The samples came from 487 businesses, including restaurants and supermarkets.

A BBC Freedom of Information request to the FSA revealed that in total 73 of the contaminated samples came from retailers - including three supermarkets. A further 50 came from restaurants, while 22 originated from manufacturing or food processing plants.

It also showed:

Some samples contained DNA from as many as four different animals, while others contained no trace of the meat that appeared on the product's label
Meat labelled as lamb was most likely to contain traces of other animals' DNA, followed by beef and goat
Cow DNA was the most commonly-found contaminant, followed by pig, chicken, sheep and turkey toshiba Support

The most commonly mis-labelled product was mince meat, while sausages, kebabs and restaurant curries also featured prominently
Other products in the dataset include ready meals such as spaghetti Bolognese and curries, pizzas and a portion of ostrich meat, which contained only beef

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