What’s the Beef?

Perhaps a better question might be, where's the beef?

The continuing furore about what actually is in our food took another turn when Findus had to withdraw all of their Frozen Beef Lasagne after it was discovered that the beef was actually horse.  Neigh I hear you cry.

This follows on from previous scares that major retail stores in the UK such as Tesco, Iceland and Aldi had similarly found horsemeat in their own label burgers. All of which had to be removed from sale, at massive cost and a PR nightmare.

Giles Coren in The Times put it best when he wrote about the lack of understanding about cheap food.  "What on earth did you think they put in them? Prime cuts of delicious free-range, organic, rare breed, heritage beef, grass-fed, Eton-educated, humanely slaughtered, dry-aged and hand-ground by fairies...? At a pound for 12?"

We do indeed get what we pay for.

It does highlight the difficulties faced when price and cost seem to be the only driver in any business relationship.

If we continually demand better prices, the race to the bottom may involve compromises that we in the end come to regret.

My favourite quote in this arena is attributed variously to one of the US astronaut's John Glenn or Alan Shepard.  Both were pilots immortalised in the movie The Right Stuff.

When asked how it felt to be sitting on top of the rocket about to launch, it is claimed one of them said "it's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realise that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract."

Difficult to bolt the stable door on this story now I suspect.

Alan Smith

Written by Alan Smith at 13:55


Edward Baines said...
Do you really believe that the Findus & Supermarket Buyers did not have the slightest inkling that they were not buying beef.

I met the Head of our local EHO's team in Morrisons at about 7.00pm last night and we were discussing the matter. He said that last month he had been inspecting the premises of a local Manufacturer of meat products. The Manufacturer was complaining that he had lost a Burger Contract to an European Competitor who had quoted a price lower than he could source the ingredients. I think it very likely that the Supermarket Buyers were suffering from selective short sightedness when inspecting the ingredient list of the winning Contractor.
February 15, 2013 04:06


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