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Mon Nov 24 15:58:15 SAST 2014

Countries affected by the horsemeat scandal

Sapa-AFP | 20 February, 2013 08:58
Packages of Buitoni meat ravioli are pictured on display on a supermarket shelf in Madrid. Nestle has removed beef pasta meals sold under its Buitoni brand from sale in Italy and Spain after finding traces of horsemeat, becoming the latest victim of a food scandal still spreading across Europe.
Image by: PAUL HANNA / REUTERS

Around 15 countries have so far been affected by Europe's spiralling food crisis, in which horsemeat has ended up in millions of ready-made "beef" meals.

The French government has revealed a complex supply chain passing through at least five countries: France, Luxembourg, Romania, the Netherlands and Cyprus.

The scandal concerns some 750 tonnes of horsemeat mislabelled as beef and sold by French firm Comigel in more than 4.5 million frozen meals.

Britain: On February 7, Britain's food health authorities announce that lasagne produced by processed food giant Findus contains up to 100 percent horsemeat. Findus UK says that it withdrew the tainted products, supplied by Comigel, in Britain on February 4.

Horsemeat is detected in 29 products out of 2,501 tested. Three are arrested for fraud.

France: On February 12, France becomes the second European country to confirm the presence of horsemeat in frozen meals. Its supermarkets pull ready-made meals from the shelves.

Comigel says it has withdrawn all products from its supplier Spanghero, which says that the meat comes from Romania.

On February 14, the DGCCRF anti-fraud office pins most of the blame on Spanghero. Its licence is suspended on the 14, then partially restored on Monday.

Sweden: On February 8, Swedish retailers pull six different brands of ready-to-eat lasagne meals, all made by Comigel. On Monday, German distributor Lidl withdraws goulash and lasagne containing horsemeat from the Swedish market.

Germany: On February 13, supermarket chain Real says it has found traces of horsemeat in frozen lasagne. After Real and Lidl, two other chains, Aldi and Kaiser's Tengelmann, say they are also affected.

Switzerland: Swiss supermarket giant Coop says on February 13 it has found horsemeat in its own-brand frozen lasagne produced by Comigel.

The Netherlands: On February 11, the Dutch food and consumer watchdog opens a probe, searching and carrying out tests at around 140 butchers and supermarkets. On the 15, Dutch officials suspend a meat processing plant believed to be mixing horsemeat and beef.

Norway: On February 15, three big Norwegian food retailers say that horsemeat has been found in frozen lasagne dishes.

Denmark: Food safety authorities say on February 15 they are probing whether a slaughterhouse may have mixed horsemeat into meat marked as beef that was supplied to pizza makers. Lidl, on the 18, withdraws its Combino pasta dish from the country.

Austria: A beef tortelloni dish distributed by Lidl and originating in Liechtenstein is pulled from the shelves on February 15.

Bulgaria: On February 16, the authorities order lasagne to be pulled from a major distributor.

Finland: On Monday, Lidl withdraws goulash and tortellini from Finnish shelves.

Belgium: Lidl on Monday withdraws incriminated frozen penne bolognaise dishes from Belgian shelves.

Spain and Italy: On Monday, Swiss giant Nestle withdraws two types of pasta meal - Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini - from sale in the two countries.

Portugal: On Tuesday, frozen lasagne supplied by Nestle to restaurants in Portugal is withdrawn.

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