Horsemeat scandal sends customers rushing to traditional local butchers in Worcestershire

SAFE: David and Phil Checketts at their shop in Ombersley

SAFE: David and Phil Checketts at their shop in Ombersley Buy this photo

First published in News
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BUTCHERS have seen a dramatic increase in custom after the news of the supermarket horsemeat scandal broke.

Customers have been shunning supermarket meat, preferring independent butchers’ shops after it was discovered that horsemeat had been found in supermarket ready meals and burgers.

Many had reported seeing a spike in trade over the weekend following the latest news that Findus beef lasagne contained 100 per cent horse.

Phil Checketts, managing director of Checketts of Ombersley, said sales were well up on Friday and Saturday as people questioned where their meat had come from.

“This (horse meat scandal) couldn’t happen at a butcher’s who buys British because the procedures are so strict here.

“It is a matter of trust really, I don’t think people are just going to turn vegetarian but they are going to be much more choosy and careful about what they buy.”

Calls to ban meat imports have been rejected by environment secretary Owen Paterson but he said he would be taking legal action in Europe over the scandal.

The horse meat was believed to have entered the elaborate supply chain throughout the Continent from two Romanian abbatoirs The Food Standards Agency has said there is no evidence to suggest the horse meat detected in beef products posed a danger to humans, although there is concern about the drugs which could have been used on the animals.

Ian Narraway, owner of family butchers Narraway’s of St Johns, said he had served an extra 45 to 50 people on Saturday with many telling him they would no longer shop for meat in a supermarket.

“We had someone in this morning who said she will never trust supermarkets again, of course a lot of people might just say that but this time it seems to be from the heart.

“We have seen a big influx of people since Thursday but this has been going on for some years now as more people want to know where their meat comes from.

“These supermarkets now have meat products coming from the other side of Europe, being manufactured in France and Ireland, they are losing the traceability factor.”

The scandal has received a mixed response to our readers on Facebook.

Mandy Morris was among those considering going back to her local butcher.

“I never tended to buy ready meals or cheap burgers anyway so not too bothered personally by what's happened. Prepare food from scratch where possible.

“That said I am being more careful what cuts I buy, and am considering going back to buy from a local butcher as I am more confident as to the traceability of the meat.

Kay Kavanagh said she would love to use a local butcher, but doesn’t really have one and was worried they could be more expensive.

And Wendy Coggan was among those who have already made the switch.

“I buy all my meat from my local butcher and am quite happy knowing where my beef comes from, right down to the farm and the registration number of the cow.

“If I want to eat burgers or whatever, it's about two minutes' work to make them myself from mince from the very same animal.

“It's not the presence of horse meat that I object to in ready meals (I've eaten it before now and it was quite tasty), it's the poor quality of all the ingredients. I know that any ready meal doesn't match up to something that I can make myself. It's a no-brainer.”

Similary The Superdrome, Toys & Games Worcester wrote: “We stopped buying meat a supermarkets years ago. When it comes to fresh food we're not really impressed by the pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap philsophy.”

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Comments (6)

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1:45pm Tue 12 Feb 13

truth must out says...

So all those people who said they are so hungry they could eat a horse.......where are they now!!!!
So all those people who said they are so hungry they could eat a horse.......where are they now!!!! truth must out
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Tue 12 Feb 13

TmP says...

I have been buying from a "proper" butchers most of my life I like to know where my meat comes from and also if it is local.
In case anyone starts off saying that they are more expensive think again one can buy cheaper cuts of meat or buy in bulk for the freezer the butchers also have advise on how to cook the various joints. For pensioners who may not be able to buy large amounts if they or family or friends can go for them they can purchase just one chop or a few slices of bacon etc no need for these larger packs of meat.
Go to an independent butcher its the way forward.
I have been buying from a "proper" butchers most of my life I like to know where my meat comes from and also if it is local. In case anyone starts off saying that they are more expensive think again one can buy cheaper cuts of meat or buy in bulk for the freezer the butchers also have advise on how to cook the various joints. For pensioners who may not be able to buy large amounts if they or family or friends can go for them they can purchase just one chop or a few slices of bacon etc no need for these larger packs of meat. Go to an independent butcher its the way forward. TmP
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Tue 12 Feb 13

New Kid on the Block says...

I have no problems with the idea of eating horse.There are many types of perfectly edible meat apart from Beef, Lamb, Pork and Chicken several of which I have eaten and enjoyed.
BUT I do want to know what I am eating.
For this reason for many years now I have always bought my meat from a proper Butcher (or Game Dealer).
Hopefully people will now start to realise that Butchers sell good quality meat of known origin.
I have no problems with the idea of eating horse.There are many types of perfectly edible meat apart from Beef, Lamb, Pork and Chicken several of which I have eaten and enjoyed. BUT I do want to know what I am eating. For this reason for many years now I have always bought my meat from a proper Butcher (or Game Dealer). Hopefully people will now start to realise that Butchers sell good quality meat of known origin. New Kid on the Block
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Wed 13 Feb 13

scolesy says...

As a chef, I have and will support my local butcher always have done, it makes me laugh when people buy sausages with 45 per cent meat,45 per cent?? what do they think is the rest?? Same as most ready meals,,"meat" Does'n't say which meat!! You buy what you pay for!! As for calling Stewy "Donkey" my mate say's Eeyore eeyore ways calls me that,,,
As a chef, I have and will support my local butcher always have done, it makes me laugh when people buy sausages with 45 per cent meat,45 per cent?? what do they think is the rest?? Same as most ready meals,,"meat" Does'n't say which meat!! You buy what you pay for!! As for calling Stewy "Donkey" my mate say's Eeyore eeyore ways calls me that,,, scolesy
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Jabbadad says...

I am of an age having experienced the days ration books etc, when we ate lots of things which these days would be classed as unsafe or unsavory. The rejection towards Horse meat is understandably because that some people don't like the idea of eating poor Dobbin but more importantly there are the dangers of drugs that have been administered to some of the horses which if eaten in enough quantities by humans is suspected in causing Leukemia. However they are entitled to know what they are eating.
I also support the return to the fresh meat butchers when of course you have the money to do so. With the big increases in food prices we older people are having to eat many manufactured foods simply based upon cost.
Due to Diabetes I have to study the food labels, and am confused (as the food industry intends) to many of the listed contents. I have become aware that so much of the taste / texture is manufactured using chemicals, and for mums who have children with allergy problems it must be a nightmare. So again we have what we have because officials dilly dally around over clear concise labeling, perhaps from pressures of the huge food manufacturers. They seem scared / deceitful to allow the consumer to know the truth and then make a balanced choice about what they buy.
I am of an age having experienced the days ration books etc, when we ate lots of things which these days would be classed as unsafe or unsavory. The rejection towards Horse meat is understandably because that some people don't like the idea of eating poor Dobbin but more importantly there are the dangers of drugs that have been administered to some of the horses which if eaten in enough quantities by humans is suspected in causing Leukemia. However they are entitled to know what they are eating. I also support the return to the fresh meat butchers when of course you have the money to do so. With the big increases in food prices we older people are having to eat many manufactured foods simply based upon cost. Due to Diabetes I have to study the food labels, and am confused (as the food industry intends) to many of the listed contents. I have become aware that so much of the taste / texture is manufactured using chemicals, and for mums who have children with allergy problems it must be a nightmare. So again we have what we have because officials dilly dally around over clear concise labeling, perhaps from pressures of the huge food manufacturers. They seem scared / deceitful to allow the consumer to know the truth and then make a balanced choice about what they buy. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

10:21am Thu 14 Feb 13

Arthur Blenkinsop says...

This is a subject that i been 'banging on about' for years now. Supermarkets are not good value. Processed foods from them are generally dreadful, and having worked in the food packaging industry, i know full well that all is not as it would seem.
Buy fresh fruit, veg and meat from fruiterers and butchers and cook your own meals - you know it makes sense!
It won't be long before more revellations about the appalling way supermarket chains treat their customers appear, and you can't tell me that they didn't know about the horse meat!!
This is a subject that i been 'banging on about' for years now. Supermarkets are not good value. Processed foods from them are generally dreadful, and having worked in the food packaging industry, i know full well that all is not as it would seem. Buy fresh fruit, veg and meat from fruiterers and butchers and cook your own meals - you know it makes sense! It won't be long before more revellations about the appalling way supermarket chains treat their customers appear, and you can't tell me that they didn't know about the horse meat!! Arthur Blenkinsop
  • Score: 0

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