The Department of Health has said that the current horse meat scare is unlikely to cause harm to those who have consumed it.
Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, said: “There is nothing to suggest a safety risk to consumers who may have eaten the products. All of the retailers involved so far have removed potentially affected products from their shelves. Dame Sally admits it’s understandable that the public are concerned: “It’s understandable that people will be concerned, but it is important to emphasise that, even if bute is found to be present at low levels, there is a very low risk indeed that it would cause any harm to health.”
Bute, short for phenybutazone, can be found in horse meat as it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain in animals. There are international checks to ensure the drug doesn’t get into the food chain as there is a low risk of serious effects.