business is booming for local butchers as horsemeat headlines are getting customers flocking in.
Local butchers spoke out this week after it was revealed that some of the UK’s major supermarket chains have equine DNA in some of their beef products.
Butcher William Holleran has worked in the meat industry for 35 years, and opened his Linlithgow shop 18 months ago. He said: “Local high street butcher shops have to comply with regular examination of their meat products by the Food Standards Agency. If a similar situation occurred in a local butcher’s shop, and it was discovered that beef products contained more than 25 per cent horsemeat, rabbit or wild fowl, then that business would be rejected by customers and would most likely cease trading.”
He said the scandal highlighted “gross negligence” in the meat industry by large chain stores and UK meat processing companies.
He added: “Multinationals in the meat industry are responsible for constant cost cutting and this has led to a loss of public trust in the industry. A butcher can explain which part(s) of the beast are in their beef burger, and the names of the local farms their beef was reared on.”
Anderson’s butchers has been on Linlithgow High Street since 1897.
Manager David Sharpe said: “We have had a boost in our sales since last weekend. It could be a phase as it was the same when the foot and mouth crisis was on, but some people are saying they will never go back to processed meat.”
When asked if he was surprised at the latest scandal, he added: “I’m surprised people were going into supermarkets and getting 20 burgers for £1. You cannot buy beef at that price. Environmental health inspectors come in here and test our products and recipes.
‘‘Our meat comes from local farmers and we have signs up in the shop telling people where it’s from.”
Craigie’s Farm in South Queensferry this week also experienced a 40 per cent increase at the butchery counter.