Lasagne had up to 100% horsemeat

Testing on Findus beef lasagne has revealed that some of the ready meals may have contained up to 100% horsemeat.

Shoppers who bought the lasagne products, which are made by French food supplier Comigel on behalf of Findus, have been warned not to eat them.

Findus tested 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 meals containing 60% to 100% horsemeat, Britain’s Food Safety Agency said.

Retail giant Tesco and discount chain Aldi withdrew a range of ready meals produced by Comigel over fears that they contained contaminated meat.

The FSA said there is no evidence to suggest the horsemeat found is a food safety risk.

But the agency confirmed tests have been ordered on the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone. Animals treated with “bute” are not allowed to enter the food chain.

An FSA statement said: “As part of its ongoing investigation into mislabelled meat, the Food Standards Agency has confirmed that the meat content of beef lasagne products recalled by Findus has tested positive for more than 60% horse meat.

“Findus withdrew the beef lasagne products after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the lasagne.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, or ‘bute’. Animals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain as it may pose a risk to human health.”

A Findus spokesman said: “We understand this is a very sensitive subject for consumers and we would like to reassure you we have reacted immediately. We do not believe this to be a food safety issue.

“We are confident that we have fully resolved this supply chain issue. Fully compliant beef lasagne will be in stores again soon.”

It said consumers here who have bought the product can call freefone 1800 800500 for a full refund.

The Findus withdrawal came after Comigel alerted Findus and Aldi that their products “do not conform to specification”.

It advised them to remove Findus beef lasagne and Aldi’s Today’s Special frozen beef lasagne and Today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese.

Tesco also decided to withdraw its Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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