Pontypool man in horsemeat health scare gets all-clear
2:14pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
A PONTYPOOL man, who believed he had contracted a horse bug after eating Findus beef lasagne, has been given the all-clear by doctors.
Pontypool-born Robert Powell, 40, who lives in Sebastopol, said he thought he was going to die when he started having spasms in his torso and was unable to breathe.
Mr Powell, who used to work in the Tesco Distribution Centre in Magor, began eating the ready meals once or twice a week.
Findus had to withdraw beef lasagne after tests discovered it contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat.
He was initially diagnosed with streptococus equinus – a bacterial infection contracted from horses – after being admitted to hospital, and when the horsemeat scandal broke out, he believed the ready meals must have been the cause.
But this week doctors told Mr Powell they are 99.9 per cent sure the infection was not food or horse related.
Mr Powell contracted the infection in December.
He said: “I was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital, where I stayed for three days, and was then transferred to the Spire in Cardiff where I spent a further seven days. Doctors asked if I had been in contact with horses and I told them I only have cats and dogs.
“When the horsemeat scandal broke out I thought there was no other explanation.”
A statement from Findus UK said: “All Findus products undergo a range of tests by the manufacturer to ensure that they are safe for customers including microbial tests.”
Tests aim to track down any Torfaen cases
TORFAEN Trading Standards will be conducting tests on meat in shops, butchers and other establishments this week to see if it has been hit by the horsemeat scandal.
Food producers and supermarkets across the UK have withdrawn products after tests found items said to contain beef contained as much as 100 per cent horsemeat.
Other authorities in Gwent have also been testing meat supplied to schools, care homes and staff canteens after the scandal hit the headlines following an Irish study that found horse and pig DNA in beefburgers sold by UK supermarkets.
The UK Food Standards Agency has admitted a significant amount of horsemeat containing painkiller bute could have been in the food chain for some time.
But the scandal could prove to be good news for Torfaen butchers as Gwent consumers have backed a survey which, says we will change the way we shop.
The online survey by market research group Consumer Intelligence found that 25 per cent of people said they would buy less processed meat and a further 25 per cent saying they will buy more unprocessed meat instead.
The survey also suggested the scandal had rocked confidence in the packaging our food comes in, with 67 per cent saying they trust food labels less now.
Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said they are now more likely to use independent butchers for their meat.