No horse, just quality meat

Longframlington butcher Chris Green with some of his burgers.
Longframlington butcher Chris Green with some of his burgers.

Butchers from across north Northumberland have spoken of the quality products they offer in the aftermath of the horse-meat scandal.

Last week, there was nationwide outrage when it was revealed that food-safety officials in Ireland had found certain beef products contained proportions of horse and pig DNA.

They had been stocked by Tesco and Iceland in the UK among others.

Chris Green, of R Green and Son in Longframlington, said: “The problem isn’t a food-safety issue, but they have been mis-sold by leading supermarkets when people thought they have been eating 100 per cent beef burgers.

“Had it been a small independent found with horse, it would quite easily be shut-your-doors time. My own concern is that the large multiples can get away with it.

“Beef is one product that has to have full traceability now and that’s the benefit of buying beef from your local butchers.”

Morris Adamson, of Rothbury Family Butchers, said: “I urge the public to shop at local butchers because it’s a dying trade and because you can get 100 per cent honesty from your butcher.

“There’s no hidden extras, it’s all there for the customers to see.

“This is my livelihood and I can’t afford to get it wrong.”

He added that while he sells a wide selection of different meats, including kangaroo, it’s about knowing what you’re getting.

Mick Aldred, of R Carter and Son in Bamburgh, said that he hoped that the recent revelations would encourage more people to shop at local butchers.

“I hope it does have that effect, but the thing is, in my view, that the suppermarkets will divert the blame and wait for the ruckus to die down.

“It’s better the public come to a reputable establishment where they know what they’re getting.

Mr Aldred conceded that in the current economic climate, some people had to buy what they could afford, but added: “You only get what you pay for, and you have got to question it.

“If you’re getting eight or ten burgers for £3, you have to question ‘where are they from and what are they made of?’”