Meat traces found in vegan and vegetarian food as part of a Daily Telegraph investigation has sparked a Food Standards Agency inquiry.
The Daily Telegraph tested ten vegan and vegetarian products from Tesco and Sainsbury’s and found meat in two.
The newspaper report said the German government-accredited food test lab it was using found pork traces in Sainsbury’s branded meat free meatballs, and turkey traces in Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen BBQ butternut macaroni cheese meal.
A statement from FSA said: ‘The Daily Telegraph has shared information with us regarding the products they have tested. We are examining this information in relation to the allegations made… and will take appropriate action as necessary.’
CIEH head of policy Tony Lewis said consumers who had eaten the specified products would be ‘appalled’.
He added: ‘If you’re starting to find stuff in food that shouldn’t be there, the question is what else is in there? This is potentially a much wider issue.’
A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘We take the quality and integrity of our products extremely seriously and understand that our vegan and vegetarian products should be exactly that.
‘Our initial DNA tests have found no traces of animal DNA in the BBQ Butternut Mac product available in stores today. We would urge the Telegraph to share full details of their testing, including the lab used as we continue to investigate.’
At the time of going to press Sainsbury’s did not supply a comment. However, the Sainsbury’s meatfree meatballs carry the Vegetarian Society mark and a statement on its website read: ‘Sainsbury’s are understandably concerned about these alleged findings as the product is produced in a meat-free factory.
‘We share these concerns and are pleased Sainsbury’s are carrying out a comprehensive investigation.