MEAT lovers may be visiting butchers more regularly after the recent supermarket scandal surrounding horse meat.

News broke in January that food products listed as beef in supermarkets contained horse meat, as much as 100 per cent in some cases, at chains including Tesco, Asda, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland stores.

Crazy Dan’s House of Meat, on East Walk, Basildon Town Centre, is run by Dan George and he says business has been much better since the scandal broke. However, he says it won’t be long before customers are sucked back in by supermarkets as he thinks they will cut all their prices and advertise bigger than ever to bring customers back.

“We have definitely seen a rise is custom over the last couple of weeks and people are thinking more about their meat. I have worked in the industry for the last 22 years and have never even discussed horses before. We are concerned about what is in peoples food and I hope customers recognise that local butchers have always provided honest opinions and once the scandal blows over continue to shop here."

Benfleet’s Barkins Butchers Ltd, on High Road, has sold ready meals but owner Mike Arnold says all their meat is checked and he was shocked when the scandal broke.

“I was very surprised. We make all of our ready meals on the premises and we only put the best quality meat in them. I know how much it costs to produce a good quality meal and it certainly isn’t £1 as some supermarkets suggest. People come here because they recognise good quality meat and know they are being served by a community friendly butcher. Local producers care and I only hope local fishmongers, greengrocers and butchers continue to be visited as they are now.”