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Food Concerns

Last Updated: 21/10/2013



Comigel used to make Tesco's frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese. They also made products for Findus. After it became apparent that they had broken our supplier specifications, we informed them that we would no longer stock any of their products in any of our stores.


DeoxyriboNucleic Acid often referred to as the 'building block' of life, is the unique genetic code carried in the cells of all living organisms that allows them to function, grow and reproduce.

DNA testing

DNA testing can be used to confirm the genetic composition and identity of a sample. At Tesco we're using DNA testing to confirm the raw ingredients in meat-based products, and to ensure that what's on the label is what's in the product.

Equine DNA

Equine, from the Latin for horse, refers to any member of the Equus genus. Equine DNA is unique to horses, and is the marker that we look for in our DNA testing program to ensure the quality and integrity of our products.


The Food Standards Agency is an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. They work with businesses to help them produce safe food, and with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations.


The Food Safety Authority of Ireland looks after food safety and hygiene in the Republic of Ireland.

Phenylbutazone (bute)

Phenylbutazone, often referred to as 'bute', is an anti-inflammatory drug that treats pain and fever in animals, most commonly in horses. It was originally used to treat humans but is no longer approved for this use.

Positive Results / Samples

Positive results are those which confirm the presence of a compound in the product being tested. In the case of the Tesco DNA testing programme for Equine (horse DNA), a product testing positive is confirmation that it contains horsemeat. In the very rare cases where a product has tested positive, we have ensured that all products were immediately removed from sale in all our stores, and a better alternative was made available at the same price.

Processed Beef Products

Processed beef products such as minced meat are products that may contain meat from a number of different beef cuts.


Silvercrest used to make some of Tesco's frozen beef burger range. After it became apparent they had broken our supplier specifications, we informed them that we would no longer stock any of their products in any of our stores.


Suppliers are companies that make the products on our behalf, or who provide ingredients or other materials that go into our products. All of our suppliers are approved by us against our strict standards. We set strict rules for all our suppliers, and act quickly if any are broken.

Supplier specifications

This is a document that defines the recipe for a product, the ingredients that must be used to make it, and where those ingredients must come from. It forms part of the contract between Tesco and its suppliers.