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No horsing around at butchers
A BOURNEMOUTH butcher’s shop is hoping to attract some extra customers during the horsemeat scandal with T-shirts advertising their horse-free products.
The scandal, which has seen products labelled as beef in supermarkets shown to contain up to 100 per cent horsemeat, has caused anger among many local traders as well as consumers.
Butcher Andrew Jenkins, of family firm Mason’s Butchers in Pokesdown, said the majority of his customers have expressed their disgust at the deception, so he has hung up the T-shirts to remind other shoppers about their local supplier.
“Most people who come in mention it, and they are shocked at the scale of it but not really surprised,” he said.
“We have a lot of regular customers who come here because they want quality meat without horse in it, or whatever else, I don’t expect it stops there.
“I’m not surprised there was cost-cutting going on – it is the only way meat could be sold so cheaply for these value products.
“My family have owned this shop since 1945, and although a lot of suppliers have disappeared we have kept close to those we can, particularly one based in Bridport. So we can guarantee what we are getting.”
Despite the scandal however, Mr Jenkins said the shop has not yet seen a dramatic increase in customers.
“We might have got a couple of extra customers in as a result of this but nothing dramatic,” he said.
“The problem for high street businesses like us is parking, it is just more convenient to park at supermarkets. And people go there out of habit.
“We are doing alright here because we have specialities and also a loyal customer base, but people will keep buying cheap, value food for convenience.”
Andy Sherriff, from Bourne-mouth Council trading standards, said they haven’t been instructed to carry out any testing of local food, nor have they received any complaints from the public.
“The Food Standards Agency has identified 28 councils to take part in a short-term sampling project to identify horse and pig DNA in the food chain,” he added.
“Bournemouth hasn’t been selected, we have no supermarket headquarters here, and not much in the way of meat packing or processing industries, so for the moment we aren’t required to act.”
To contact the FSA for information call 0845 051 8322.