The UK has arguably the toughest legislation and most intrusive inspectors in the world when it comes to food safety. In view of the ongoing horsemeat scandal, we should be glad.
If you want to see Britain's food police in action, check out this recent report. The bottom line is that both local councils and central government monitor the quality of everything we eat minutely. In addition to this, big companies like supermarket chains have their own dedicated professionals who ensure their food is produced and packaged under conditions that are the envy of most hospital operating theatres. This is just as well, because there has obviously been considerably skulduggery afoot of late. The Food Standards Agency is the body responsible for coordinating the whole lot: checking plant, retail outlets and a great deal more.
Recently, the FSA has warned against traces of pork in supposedly halal food served in prisons, and now there is this business of horsemeat in beefburgers and lasagne. Today, it issued another update on the scandal.
Some burgers sold by Findus and Tesco have been shown to be 100% horsemeat. The good news is that this appears to be due to rogue suppliers in Ireland and France. Also, "contaminating" food with horsemeat is not the same as contaminating it with salmonella or something equally undesirable.
Having said that, consumers have a right to know what they are eating, horsemeat should not be packaged and sold as beef anymore than water should be sold as wine. The really good news is that now both the supermarkets concerned and the FSA have got to grips with the problem, we can expect to see it resolved quickly and efficiently, and quite likely prosecutions to follow.