Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nestlé finds horsemeat in pasta meals

World's biggest food company withdraws products in Italy, Spain and France, saying they contained more than 1% horse

Nestl , the world's biggest food company, has removed beef pasta products from sale in Italy, Spain and France after finding traces of horse DNA.

The Swiss-based company, which last week said its products were unaffected by the scandal, said its tests had found more than 1% horse DNA in two products.

"We have informed the authorities accordingly," Nestl said in a statement on Monday. "There is no food safety issue."

Nestl withdrew two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, in Italy and Spain. Lasagnes la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen product for catering businesses produced in France, will also be withdrawn.

Nestl was suspending deliveries of all products made using beef from a German subcontractor to one of its suppliers, the company said.

The discovery of horsemeat in products labelled as beef has spread from the UK across Europe since last month, prompting product withdrawals, consumer anger and government investigations into the continent's complex food-processing chains.

Governments across Europe have stressed that horsemeat poses little or no health risk, although some carcasses have been found to be tainted with a painkiller banned for human consumption.

But the scandal has damaged the confidence of consumers in supermarkets and fast food chains since horsemeat was first identified in Irish burgers.

The retailer Lidl said on Monday it had withdrawn products from its stores in Finland and Sweden after finding traces of the meat.

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