FAMILY butchers have said the horse meat scandal has been a major boost for business.

Small family butchers in East Lancashire said customers wanting personal services and locally sourced meat had seen trade increase.

Yesterday frozen food giant Findus apologised over some of its beef lasagne products which contained horse meat.

It carried out a full product recall on Monday, two days before DNA tests confirmed that some of its products contained up to 100 per cent horse meat and it alerted the Food Standards Agency.

Last month 10million suspect burgers were taken off the shelves, including by retailers Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores.

Now the FSA has ordered food companies to test their beef products for authenticity.

Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth said what was traditionally the quietest time of the year has been ‘more like the busiest’.

Geoff Riley said: “It hasn’t stopped here and people are being quite vocal about why they are in the shop. People say they are realising cheap meat is cheap for a reason.

“We’ve also had a few questions about our sources and we are quite happy to tell them we source livestock ourselves from farms and send it slaughter.

“You can’t be more sure than that.

“Meat is not a cheap product and you get what you pay for. We are benefitting because people know we know where our meat comes from.”

Nick Gell, manager at Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop in Clitheroe, said: “People are realising that some of the stuff branded English, isn’t English at all. Or even the right animal. Whereas we can say we only use local beef and we know where it’s from. It’s absolutely put more trade our way, we’re very busy.”

Michael Marsden, of Whittakers Butchers in Blackburn Market, also said demand was high for its products because people wanted to know where their meat was sourced from.

East Lancashire’s pie firms have said they are confident about their beef sources, with Clayton Park and Holland’s Pies in talks with the FSA about how they will deliver the verification the agency is asking for.

A spokesman for Holland’s Pies said it was ‘business as usual’ at the pie fim as none of the suppliers they use were implicated in the horse-meat row.

A spokesman said: “We do not use any of the suppliers implicated, nor do we manufacture frozen ready meals, which were mainly affected. We will be working with the FSA on the question of testing though to check what they require.”

General Manager at Clayon Park pies Brian Ashworth said it too was confident about satisfying the FSA. He said: “All our meat is bought from one source, our parent company. They are putting in place checks with their suppliers and will do as the FSA recommend. But we are really confident about the meat we use. We’ve always been very careful to only work with responsible suppliers.”