A COMMUNITY leader is calling for his authority to investigate any horse meat concerns in the area.
Buckley councillor Dennis Hutchinson has written to Flintshire Council asking what action has been put in place while the horse meat scandal is rife.
The authority has confirmed it has been carrying out sampling surveys of beef products.
In the letter, Cllr Hutchinson wrote: “I know it is a UK and European problem but I feel we, as an authority, need to be investigating the seriousness of these circumstances in Flintshire.
“My personal opinion is we have a duty and responsibility to our residents not just to have brands removed from our food retail outlet shelves.
“I feel strongly as a county council we need to be investigating all outlets who provide beef products (ie burgers for example).”
Ian Vaughan-Evans, Flintshire Council’s interim public protection manager, said: “As an authority we have worked closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on this matter and carried out a sampling survey of beef products on sale on January 21.
“There is currently an ongoing national survey funded by the FSA who are coordinating all investigation activity in the UK.
“They have given direction to retailers and producers to sample all beef products to check for the presence of horse meat.
“If any of these samples are positive they are required to notify us immediately and we will take the appropriate action, for example, the recall of products.
“We are also working with manufacturers in our area to ensure the authenticity of their incoming raw materials containing beef products can be verified.”
Kevin Jones, Flintshire’s cabinet member for public protection, added: “Our food safety and food standards team have been working closely with the FSA since this matter was first reported and will continue to do so until all matters have been fully investigated.”
Meanwhile, the county’s independent butchers are reaping the rewards by guaranteeing shoppers ‘what you see is what you get’.
Yesterday the Leader reported butchers across Flintshire are seeing a surge in customers in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
Shoppers who have lost faith in supermarkets are turning to independent retailers after some beef ready meals were found to contain horse.
Supermarket giants Tesco and Aldi and frozen food firm Findus have found lasagne, spaghetti bolognese and burgers were contaminated with up to 100 per cent horse meat.
Phil Jones of Bistre Farm Shop in Buckley said: “We have seen a lift in sales of minced beef, steak and burgers of about 30 to 40 per cent.
“There are definitely a lot of new faces in the shop and customers are announcing themselves as supermarket shoppers who have lost faith in them yet again.
“It’s starting to register that people are finding a lot more stability in butchers.
“We have been here for 20 years and whenever we have had some form of meat scare we have always had an upsurge in trade.”
Sausages were flying out of the door at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. Assistant manager Sarah Heatley said: “We are 30 per cent up on everything from beef to mince and in particular sausages have taken a massive upturn.
“People want somewhere that can guarantee where the meat came from.
“What you see is what you get here. Customers want to be sure of quality of the product.”
John Sigworth of Halkyn based North Wales Buffalo said: “Last weekend we had a lot of people wanting to buy stuff directly from the farm.
“People like the fact that they are buying straight from the farm and can speak to the farmer.
“We farm lamb and pork too which is all slaughtered locally.”
l A farmers’ market will be held in Mold on Saturday at St Mary’s Church Hall between 9am and 2pm.