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Wed Oct 01 00:01:15 SAST 2014

Horsemeat in 29 out of 2 501 beef products in Britain: tests

Sapa-AFP | 16 February, 2013 15:08
A "Steak de Cheval", a 100% horsemeat burger, served with a fried egg on a bed of lettuce is seen at Chez Sophie, a French restaurant at Knockholt, southern England February 15, 2013. The horsemeat burgers are sold legally and listed on the menu. Some supermarkets in Britain have recently been hit by a scandal involving the mislabelling of beef products.
Image by: ANDREW WINNING / REUTERS

Twenty-nine beef products out of 2 501 tested in Britain have been found to contain more than one percent horsemeat, the Food Standards Agency said on Friday.

FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: "The overwhelming majority of beef products in this country do not contain horse. The examples we have had are totally unacceptable, but they are the exceptions."

All of the 29 products containing horsemeat have already been withdrawn from sale, she added.

These include lasagne and spaghetti bolognese sold by Aldi supermarkets, burgers sold by Co-op stores, and burgers and spaghetti bolognese sold by Britain's leading supermarket chain Tesco.

Beef lasagne made by the frozen foods giant Findus, as well as burgers for the catering industry produced by Irish firm Rangeland Foods, were also on the list.

Brown stressed that the results were "still far from the full picture" and that testing continued on other products.

It emerged on Friday that cottage pie delivered to nearly 50 schools in Lancashire in northwest England tested positive for horse DNA, although officials insisted only tiny amounts of horsemeat were involved.

Pub and hotel group Whitbread on Friday became the latest company in Britain to admit horse DNA had been found in its food, saying two of its products - meat lasagne and beef burgers - had been affected.

And the world's largest catering firm, Compass Group, was dragged into the scandal on Friday when it blamed Rangeland for supplying it with horsemeat-tainted burgers that it in turn sent to a small number of outlets in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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Wed Oct 01 00:01:15 SAST 2014 ::