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South West Wales butchers' promise to customers as horse DNA found in burgers

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

Clinton Roberts, of Ponty Butchers, with his hand-made burgers

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BUTCHERS across South West Wales have said the discovery of horse meat in supermarket burgers has raised an issue of trust between traders and consumers.

Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland were all found to have sold beef burgers which contained horse DNA.

All four chains have now removed the products from their shelves following an investigation by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) which found beef products tested contained horse DNA.

Butcher Clinton Roberts has been involved in the industry as an independent butcher for more than 40 years and runs his own business in Pontardawe.

The 55-year-old said: “It is shocking to know.

“Supermarkets have a massive customer base which trust them.

“People trust where they buy anything especially food. You have to trust your butcher.

“At the end of the day they (the supermarkets) are the ones making the contact with the customer.

“Our beef burgers are 100 per cent beef and nothing else.

“Our meat comes from an abattoir in Cross Hands and all our meat is under 30 months old which is the industry standard for quality.”

Mr Roberts said it is a myth to suggest supermarkets are cheaper than independent butchers.

Ammanford butcher Martin Jones has run his business in the town for nine years and said: “How was this (the sale of beef burgers containing horse meat) allowed to happen?


“If I had done it or, if any other independents had done it, I would be closed down for six months for an investigation.

“It will be interesting to find out what will happen to them.”

Port Talbot butcher Mandy Davies said the issue of horse meat in beef burgers was a big cause for concern.

Mrs Davies has run her own business in the area for 14 years and said: “What you find these days is supermarkets want every type of high street business going and slowly these businesses are going by the wayside.

“It just goes to show you have multi-million pound companies advertising constantly and it is not everything that it appears to be.

“We won’t be the cheapest but you can certainly buy with confidence.”

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  • williamwaun  |  January 17 2013, 10:57PM

    The press ruin peoples lives. Thousands work in the food industry and with these reports thousands of people could be made redundant, no fault of their own. Don't get me wrong it should state on the packaging what's in the product. Living in Port Talbot breathing in the pollution of the steel works ruin peoples lives, should they shut it down. People dying in this work and family's going through hard times. What's wrong with a bit of horse meat, people eat rabbit, pigeon and many more animals. Lets hope this story don't linger on.

  • swanseajock  |  January 17 2013, 9:21PM

    Who cares, it is meat, it is not as fi horse meat is poisonous! I would be more interested (or maybe not) about knowng what the other 71% is in the burgers

  • Neathboy234  |  January 17 2013, 6:45PM

    lancelot69 whatever next, human meat!!

    |   -3
  • lancelot69  |  January 17 2013, 5:34PM

    Horses get killed everyday just because they've broken a leg, why not sell the meat, not like they are intentionally bred to slaughter

    |   -1
  • lancelot69  |  January 17 2013, 5:25PM

    Horses get killed everyday just because they've broken a leg, why not sell the meat, not like they are intentionally bred to slaughter

    |   -1
  • Jiffy  |  January 17 2013, 4:11PM

    How can the public know that meat from Clinton Roberts shop is cheaper than a supermarket, when he chooses not to put prices on his products?

    |   4
  • timhayes  |  January 17 2013, 3:21PM

    Whilst I agree that this mixture of meats shouldn't happen and, if it happened in a private butcher's shop, they would be closed down. I do think we're making a lot of fuss about very little. Why don't we just have horse meat for sale just the same as some of the other European countries. What is the problem with eating horses that doesn't seem to apply to other livestock? If you don't like the idea of killing horses for meat, how can you condone the slaughter of cows, sheep, pigs etc?

    |   3
  • Neathboy234  |  January 17 2013, 12:10PM

    Moral of the story, don't eat meat

    |   -9
  • lancelot69  |  January 17 2013, 11:45AM

    Moral of the story, stick to your local butcher

    |   3
  • twinkles12  |  January 17 2013, 10:12AM

    What is interesting why Tesco etc has gone down this route to substitute beef for horse meat. Manufacturers are known for substituting meat for other ingredients to bulk up the product at a lesser cost to themselves. But is the inclusion of horse meat really more cost effective than other products? It will be interesting to find out. This has obviously dented the trust in large firms like Tesco and that could have a positive outcome on our local trusted butchers which isn't a bad thing really. I try to make a conscious effort myself to source local ingredients as i'm quite particular about supporting local/family trade.

    |   4