Lifestyle & Belief

French supermarkets pull beef products in wake of horsemeat scandal


A man poses holding a Findus 320g beef lasagne frozen readymeal near Sunderland on February 8, 2013. Tests confirming beef lasagne sold under the Findus brand contained up to 100 percent horsemeat sparked a wider food scare in Britain on February 8 with authorities ordering urgent tests on all beef products on sale. Findus tested 18 of its beef lasagne products manufactured by French supplier Comigel and found 11 meals containing between 60 percent and 100 percent horsemeat, the FSA said.


Andrew Yates

French supermarkets have pulled frozen beef products from their shelves as the European horsemeat scandal continues. 

Frozen food companies Findus and Comigel have had their lasagna, moussaka and cannelloni products suspected of containing undeclared horsemeat withdrawn from at least six French supermarket chains.

They claim that they were mislead by their suppliers, BBC News reported

The companies used meat from Spanghero, a meat-processing company also based in France which reportedly obtained its meat from a Romanian supplier. 

A widespread investigation into the scandal has connected companies in Romania, Cyprus and the Netherlands to a complex supply chain responsible for disguising the horsemeat as beef, the Associated Press reported

“We will see the results of the inquiry on Wednesday,” said Benoit Hamon, the French minister responsible for consumers’ rights, RFI reported. “And particularly whether the French company Spanghero knew it was buying horse or whether it was tricked.”

The European Union Agriculture commissioner will meet with Romania's foreign minister Monday over the issue, and Romanian President Traian Basescu said Sunday that the country may lose credibility "for many years" should they be found guilty of the deception, according to AP. 

"I hope that this won't happen," Basescu said. 

There have been no health risks associated with the horsemeat, but the scandal has unnerved European consumers, Reuters reported

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[View the story "Europe's horsemeat scandal widens" on Storify]