MORE than half of consumers have changed their shopping habits as a result of the horse meat scandal, a survey for consumer group Which? has found.
Public trust in the food industry has dropped by 24 per cent, with 30 per cent of those polled now buying less processed meat and a quarter buying fewer ready meals with meat or choosing vegetarian options.
The survey, published today, also revealed that two-thirds of people do not think the Government has been giving enough attention to enforcing labelling laws, with half of consumers not confident that ingredient information is accurate.
It found that 44 per cent now spend more time looking at the ingredients label on meat products, with 83 per cent agreeing that country of origin labelling should be required on such items.
Confidence in food safety has also dropped, from nine in 10 feeling confident when buying products in the supermarket before the scandal broke to seven in 10 feeling confident now.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “The horse meat scandal exposed the need for urgent changes to the way food fraud is detected and standards are enforced.”
The findings come after supermarket Tesco yesterday withdrew a line of frozen meatloaf made in Northern Ireland after tests revealed it contained between two per cent and five per cent horsemeat.
It said it had pulled the 600g packs of Tesco Simply Roast Meatloaf made between October last year and January at Eurostock in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, from its shelves.
The supermarket said it was the fourth of its products to test positive for horsemeat contamination.