The growing scandal surrounding horsemeat and the mislabeling of meat products in Europe got even bigger on Thursday after U.K. food safety authorities revealed that horsemeat made up more than half of the "beef" in some recalled lasagna products
After French supplier Comigel raised concerns that the lasagnas provided by frozen-food company Findus did not “conform to specification,” the products were recalled. According to The Christian Science Monitor, this led to the U.K. Food Standards Agency beginning testing on the tainted meals.
18 of Findus’ supposedly beef lasagnas products were tested. 11 of the tests came back positive for horsemeat in the 60 to 100 percent range. Food safety authorities would not confirm or deny if any of the products contained only horsemeat and no beef at all.
Despite the positive tests, the agency said there's no evidence yet of a food safety risk. However further tests have been ordered on the lasagna to see if it contains the veterinary drug phenylbutazone. Animals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain because it may pose a risk to human health.
Surprisingly enough, eating horsemeat is not generally a health risk, but in countries like Britain and Ireland, where horsemeat is not traditionally eaten, the practice is looked upon with disgust.
Findus UK has issued an apology to its customers and also claims to have resolved the supply chain issue that may have led to horsemeat makings its way into the lasagnas.
“We understand this it is a very sensitive subject for consumers and we would like to reassure you we have reacted immediately,” the company said.
Catherine Brown, chief executive of the U.K. Food Standards Agency, is calling for more testing on meat products.
“We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagna, and provide the results to the FSA. The tests will be for the presence of significant levels of horsemeat,” she said in a statement.
Customers who purchased the meals were advised not to eat them
Source: (Christian Science Monitor)