In order to ensure the authenticity of all our products we are routinely testing our products across our business and services in the UK and Europe.
Since January 2013 we have carried out testing on 4400 products including all our processed meat products and over 100 fish products.
The testing process
All our testing is carried out by independent laboratories and in line with the standards set by the Food Standards Agency.
To begin with, products are taken from either our stores or from storage depots and sent to the laboratory. Once in the lab, samples from these products are put through a series of complex and thorough tests that break the food down so that it can be analysed at the most detailed level possible. At this point, it is possible to determine what DNA is contained in the product.
We have a rolling programme of testing which ensures that all our processed meat products are analysed four times a year.
We test our processed meat products for a range of different animal DNA, including:
We also carry out routine authenticity tests on other products such as fish, fruit juice, honey and basmati rice.
We strongly believe that this industry-leading programme gives customers the reassurance they expect – that the food they buy contains only the ingredients on the label.
We have now tested 4400 products from across our businesses and services in the UK and Europe.
Our testing to date has reinforced confidence in the processes we have in place. However, if we find a problem, we take action. If any products show a result that needs to be investigated we will do so thoroughly. Once we know why and have dealt with the cause we will publish the outcome with the test results.
We continue to test our meat products and are carrying out further authenticity testing on other products such as Fruit Juices, Olive Oils and Pasta and continue to put routine authenticity testing in place for other products.