Horsemeat scandal: Nestle withdraws beef meals in Italy, Spain
Geneva: A week after claiming that its food products didn’t contain horsemeat, the Swiss-based firm Nestle has become the latest victim of the widening horsemeat scandal after it detected horse DNA in beef pasta meals.
World’s largest food producing company, Nestle ordered removal of two chilled pasta products off the shelves in Italy and Spain, reported the BBC.
The products that have been withdrawn in Italy and Spain are Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, the report added.
The company also discontinued the deliveries of meat from a German supplier.
Nestle said that the amount of horse DNA found in the beef meals was very low but above 1 %.
Horsemeat was detected after DNA tests were conducted on the products.
Earlier, the EU had ordered all the member countries to conduct DNA tests on processed beef.
Millions of burgers and frozen meals have been recalled around Europe and many accusations have been made, but so far it's not clear how horsemeat got introduced into so many beef products.
The scandal came to the light for the first time in Ireland, which reported upto 100 pc horsemeat in products labelled as beef.
French authorities have already pointed to an elaborate supply chain that involved Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders that resulted in horsemeat disguised as beef being sold in meals like lasagna and moussaka to consumers around the continent.
Britain's Food Standards Agency said it suspended production at the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in northern England's Yorkshire and a company it allegedly supplied horse carcasses to, Farmbox Meats, in west Wales. The agency said it was investigating how "meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse."
Horsemeat is largely taboo in Britain and Ireland, though in France it is sold in specialty butcher shops. While no health effects have been reported, the scandal has unsettled consumers and made clear that unscrupulous dealers in the complicated network of meat wholesalers are benefiting from selling much cheaper horsemeat as beef.