Horsemeat scandal: EU officials discuss next steps

Burger King is the latest company to be implicated in a horse meat scandal that has shaken the UK food industry. The scandal began when British supermarket chain Tesco discovered it was selling horse meat burgers.


Paul J. Richards

European Union officials are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the discovery of horsemeat in products labeled 100 percent beef in Sweden, the United Kingdom and France, CNN reported.

Horsemeat has been found in lasagne, beef burgers and spaghetti bolognese produced by food companies Findus and Comigel.

More from GlobalPost: French supermarkets pull beef products in wake of horsemeat scandal

Officials must take "whatever steps may be necessary at EU level to comprehensively address this matter," Simon Coveney, Ireland's agriculture minister, said, according to Reuters.

The meeting will be attended by EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg and ministers from EU countries that have supplied or distributed the mislabeled products, according to Reuters.

With as many as 16 European nations involved in the supply chain, it’s unclear where the horsemeat came from, CNN reported.

Comigel has pointed to Romanian suppliers, but Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Romanian businesses were not to blame.

"This tendency to throw the responsibility as far away as possible, eventually to the new members (of the European Union), to countries that might have a weaker PR policy, is something that bothers me," Ponta said on Monday.

According to CNN:

While horsemeat is not itself a food safety hazard, food inspectors are concerned it may contain the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, or "bute," commonly used to treat horses.

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