Do you sell horse meat? Neigh!

Drop Folder News/Atex News. 11/01/11. Pic Kevin Allen.  Ian Hutchinson, the manager of  Horsley's butchers shop in Scarborough Market Hall. 110212b.

Drop Folder News/Atex News. 11/01/11. Pic Kevin Allen. Ian Hutchinson, the manager of Horsley's butchers shop in Scarborough Market Hall. 110212b.

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A Scarborough butcher has alerted carnivores that horse meat is well and truly off his menu – after he was ‘nagged’ over the equine stall name.

A sign has been displayed at market butcher D.J Horsley’s, after ‘naysayers’ pointed out the name could deter customers from buying their beef from the popular shop.

However, owner Ian Hutchinson has seen the lighter side of the unfortunate coincidence – although it was only spotted last week by an eagle-eyed customer.

“I didn’t even realise until the other day, but we’ve had quite a few customers mention it now.

“People have told us that they think it’s quite funny.”

After horse meat was initially discovered in a box of frozen Tesco burgers, more and more discoveries have been made.

Ikea is the latest company to withdraw a product, after horse meat was discovered in the company’s trademark meatballs.

Horse meat is perfectly legal, and is often eaten on the continent and by sportsmen due to its high levels of protein.

But owner Ian Hutchinson, who took over the store two years ago from David Horsley, said that with all his meat sourced in Yorkshire, there is no chance horse could be dished up from his stall – advertently or inadvertently.

“I did try horse once when I was about 15 or 16 when I visited France with my parents, and to be honest I can’t really remember what it was like. I love ostrich though, that’s absolutely brilliant.

“But there’s no chance that any horse is going to end up here – all of our meat is sourced from Yorkshire, from Whitby and Pickering and all over.”

Mr Hutchinson said that if there was ever a problem with his meat, he could trace it back to the supplier to carry out an extensive background check on the animal it came from.

“I don’t know if everybody does this, but I can check exactly where this has come from.

“If anything does go wrong with my silverside, I can check with the supplier, who types into the computer and can find out where it was killed, when it was killed and where it has been.

“I can even find out if it was ever sick.”

However, despite Mr Hutchinson wilfully making light of the name, it hasn’t stopped customers from bombarding staff at the shop with horse jokes.

Fellow butcher Maxine, who works alongside Mr Hutchinson, said: “The best joke I’ve heard so far is ‘I checked my burgers the other day ... and they’re off!’

Recently, Filey MP Anne McIntosh and chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said: “The scale of contamination emerging in the meat supply chain is breath-taking.

“There is every indication that horse meat has been intentionally substituted for beef by criminals with access to the food industry. Elements within the food industry have duped consumers in the UK and across Europe in pursuit of profit.”

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