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Meat Authenticity

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13 February, 2013

At Hensons, all of our meat is fully traceable – something we’re incredibly proud of. Our customers can relax in the knowledge that the meat they are serving is up to specification.

1. Hensons Butchery

Our butchery production facility comes under the direct authority of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as a fully-licenced meat cutting plant: licence no. 1061.

Our production, procurement, HACCP and traceability procedures are fully approved, and are audited by the FSA twice a year.

In addition to our EC butchery Licence we are also BRC approved for Storage and Distribution.

The beef used in our butchery department, including beef for mince and beef burgers, is supplied to us fresh from nominated suppliers approved under our HACCP procedures. We never buy pre-minced product, we never use frozen or previously-frozen beef and we never use imported beef in our burgers or burger mince.

The beef cut in our butchery is labelled with the country of birth, rearing, slaughter (including the plant licence number) and cutting (including licence number).

We carry out regular tests to prove the integrity of our traceability system, as does the FSA.

Each individual pack of beef is inspected by our butchers prior to cutting, dicing or mincing. Any non-conforming or out-of-specification product is quarantined and returned to the supplier.

On 6 February 2013 ALS Food and Pharmaceutical tested 4 batches of Hensons Angus and UK Beef Burgers. Each one tested negative for the presence of horse meat.


2. Salt Beef, Pastrami, Cured Ox-Tongue

These products are produced for us under licence in a BRC-approved factory in Ireland, using prime joints of grass-fed brisket. The beef is inspected by fully-trained, experienced butchers and any primal joint which is not to specification in any way is excluded from production and returned to the supplier.

On 21 January 2013 Eurofins tested a composite sample of beef brisket for a species determination, which included beef, pork, horse.The only species detected was beef.


3. Frozen prepared beef products

We stock a small range of frozen meat products such as burgers, pies, pasties for which we are the wholesaler. We have received written assurances from the manufacturers that they are not involved with any of the plants implicated in the current (horse meat) situation and assurances that the products contain only beef. However, for peace of mind we will only release these products for sale upon receipt of evidence that they have tested negative for horse meat. – is there an update on this?

We stock frozen 100% Beef Burgers under the Fairway brand for which we have received the following results:

On 6 February 2013 ALS Food and Pharmaceutical tested five batches of Fairway 100% Beef Burgers (frozen). Each one tested negative for Meat Speciation by ELISA – Horse.

As a result, Fairway 100% Beefburgers have been released for sale.


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