‘Horse lasagne’ sparks new food scare

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London - British authorities warned the public on Thursday not to eat beef lasagne sold by the Findus brand and made in France after tests found it contained up to 100 percent horse meat.

Findus tested 18 of its beef lasagne products manufactured by supplier Comigel in France and found 11 meals containing 60 percent to 100 percent horse meat, Britain's Food Standards Agency said.

The agency said further tests have been ordered on the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, as animals treated with it are not allowed to enter the food chain in Britain.

“Findus withdrew the beef lasagne products after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the lasagne,” the agency said in a statement.

The agency said tests on the lasagne were ordered “as part of its ongoing investigation into mislabelled meat”.

“We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk. However, the FSA has ordered Findus to test the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone.”

It is the latest horse meat-related scare after horse DNA was found two weeks ago in beef burgers in Britain and Ireland, countries where horse meat consumption is generally taboo.

Two weeks ago, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) had revealed that up to 29 percent of the meat content of some beef burgers was in fact horse, while they also found pig DNA.

The frozen burgers were on sale in the high-street supermarket chains Tesco and Iceland in both Britain and Ireland, and in Irish branches of Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes Stores.

The consumption of horse meat is more common in other parts of Europe - including France - and in central Asia, China and Latin America. - Sapa-AFP


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