Horse Meat: Technical Appeals and Court Action
This case study describes two aspects of the aftermath of the 2013 horse meat scandal: (1) technical appeals to the UK Government Chemist on official testing results and (2) court action on food fraud uncovered in the horse meat investigation. The Government Chemist provides a statutory route of technical appeal against official findings in the UK food control system. In all, twelve such cases arose from the horse meat scandal between 2013 and 2015. In general the Government Chemist's findings confirmed those of the Official Control Scientists (Public Analysts). Some cases supported subsequent court actions. This case study describes the precautions taken to secure chain of custody of the evidence and the technical details of the analysis. Court action against culprits in the horse meat scandal has not been extensive but is still continuing. The case study describes seven such cases in the UK and Europe.