Supermarket horse meat scandal is good news for butchers

TRADE Steve White, of Wildman butchers in North End, Portsmouth. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121653-1)
TRADE Steve White, of Wildman butchers in North End, Portsmouth. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121653-1)

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BUTCHERS are experiencing a boom in sales following the recent supermarket horse meat scandal.

The revelation last week that some supermarket meat products including burgers and lasagne contained horse have led more shoppers to buy directly from butchers.

Paul Cripps, 48, of Tangier Road Butchers said: ‘We have been busy.

‘We’ve seen a lot of new faces down here and we nearly sold out of our burgers last week.

‘This has done family-run butchers the world of good. At a butchers you can see exactly what you are getting and you get good service as well.”

Fellow butcher Steve White, of Wildmans in North End, added: ‘It’s disgusting that supermarkets have been getting away with selling horse meat. If that happened at a butchers, we would be in a lot of trouble. When you go to a supermarket you expect to get exactly what you pay for.’

In the past week, the government has issued a warning that there is likely to be more unwelcome news to follow the earlier announcements but they also insisted that eating horse meat is no more risky than eating beef.

But fears have mounted that some of the horses could have been injected with a drug called bute that in large doses would be dangerous to humans.

Kevin King, 48, a butcher at Southsea’s M.S King & Son is surprised that the checks had not already been done: ‘They should have been done a long time ago. Butchers’ meat gets tested regularly and supermarkets seem to get away with murder.

‘The problem with supermarkets is that they are all about profitability. You can buy a lot of burgers for a cheap price there or you can come to a butcher which is a bit more but is guaranteed to be 100 per cent beef.’

The scandal has driven up sales in most butchers around Portsmouth and Mr King added: ‘We have had a noticeable increase in business, sales are up 20 per cent in the last few weeks.

‘At a butchers we do things the right way, all our meat is traceable. We don’t cut corners and we don’t have anything to hide.’