Lifestyle & Belief

Nestle recalls beef products after horsemeat found


Swiss-based Nestle is recalling a number of beef products from its supplier in Germany after traces of horse DNA was found.


Bernd Thissen/DPA

BRUSSELS, Belgium —The world's biggest food company, Nestle, has been sucked into Europe's spreading horsemeat scandal.

The Swiss company giant said it was removing ready-made pasta dishes from sale in France, Italy and Spain after finding traces of equine DNA in what were supposed to be beef products.

In a statement released Monday, Nestle said it was suspending deliveries from a supplier in Germany that was believed to be the origin of the horse flesh traces.

Nestle said that it would be replacing the beef tortellini and beef ravioli products with others that are 100 percent beef. A lasagna product sold in France was also part of the recall, said CNN.

More from GlobalPost: Horsemeat scandal timeline

“The levels found are above the 1 percent threshold the UK’s Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence,” Nestle's statement said.

“There is no food safety issue, but the mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect from us.”

Nestle said it has stopped all deliveries of products with beef from H.J. Schypke, a German subcontractor of Nestle supplier JBS Toledo NV, reported Bloomberg.

GlobalPost senior correspondent in Europe, Paul Ames, reports that the horsemeat scandal, which began in Ireland last month, shows no sign of abating as more and more frozen meals are being withdrawn from supermarket stores across Europe.

The German discount retailer Lidl on Monday pulled products from Finnish, Danish and Swedish stores after finding horsemeat traces.

Food pundits have been advising concerned consumers to buy fresh meat and cook their own food to avoid the risk of eating mislabeled meat, but sales of cheap, frozen and pre-prepared meals have been going up in response to the economic crisis.

Paul Ames contributed to this report from Brussels.