Findus has tonight admited frozen lasagne was made with 100% horsemeat and they don’t know for how long it has been on shelves.
The news is the first time that it has been confirmed that horsemeat contamination of products sold in the UK has spread beyond beef burgers.
There are concerns that the horse meat used in the lasagne contained the drug bute, which is a known human health risk.
Findus was today unable to say how long horsemeat has been used in its products.
The lasagne packs were manufactured by French company, Comigel, at a plant in Metz, which produces food for supermarkets in Britain and Europe.
Comigel makes a range of beef products for Tesco and Aldi, which have both removed them from shelves as a precautionary measure.
Tesco removed its packs of frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, whiles Aldi has withdrawn its Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese.
Tests are being carried out on these products, however there is no evidence – to date – that they contain horse meat.
Findus asked supermarkets and corner shops to remove three sizes of beef lasagne – 320g, 360g and 500g – from shelves on Monday.
At the time, it said this was because of what it called a ‘labelling issue’ in what appears to have been a crude attempt to pull the wool over customers’ eyes.
In fact, it has now emerged that these products contained horse meat, which constitutes a crime under labelling laws and will alarm the public.
The revelation raises further questions about whether major food brands have any good idea about what is being put into their products.
Findus said: ‘At Findus UK we are committed to our customers and the quality of our products.
‘Following a thorough investigation, Findus UK can confirm that testing of its beef lasagne, produced by a third party supplier and not by Findus, has revealed some product containing horse meat.
‘As a precautionary measure, on Monday we coordinated a full withdrawal of our affected beef lasagne.
‘We understand this it 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.’
Labour’s Shadow Food and Farming Secretary, Mary Creagh, described the handling of the scandal by the Government as ‘appalling’.
She said the horse meat found in the Findus products has not been tested for the presence of the drug bute, which is a known human health risk.
‘This drug is banned from the human food chain because it can cause aplastic anaemia, which is a type of leukaemia,’ she said.
‘Ministers have been hiding under their desks, rather than getting to grips with this.
‘We have a real crisis of confidence in the meat industry, people do not feel they can trust what it says on the label. This is potentially a disaster for UK supermarkets, manufacturers and farmers.
‘The government’s handling of this has been appalling. Unless they come out on the front foot and show leadership, we won’t have a meat processing industry left.’
dailyalternative | alternative news – Meat Scandal Findus admits upto 100% Horsemeat in some of its products