Horsemeat: Nestlé ditches Spanish supplier in horse DNA review

Nestlé in Spain has announced it will no longer use its Spanish supplier Servocar.

The global company made the announcement yesterday "after it became clear that the firm has supplied beef that contains horse DNA". It added that all products using beef from Servocar would be removed from sale.

However, Nestlé said: "We would like to reassure consumers that we remain vigilant. In the first week of our new enhanced testing programme we carried out hundreds of separate analyses of beef supplied to us and finished products. This testing has so far covered about 70% of the products we manufacture in Europe that contain beef or veal."

The company explained that it would no longer use the firms as suppliers and said testing for horse DNA was being carried out on new deliveries of beef from other suppliers. Nestlé added: "We are enhancing our quality assurance and testing procedures to ensure we don’t face the same problem again. The quality and safety of our products is, and will always be our number one priority."

Tests carried out on one batch of meat supplied by Servocar, which is based in Casarrubios del Monte (Toledo), contained horse DNA above the 1% threshold and was likely to indicate "adulteration", Nestlé said.

According to Nestlé, there is no food safety issue, but the mislabelling of the products has meant a failure to meet its very high customer standards.

General manager for Nestlé Spain Bernard Meunier said: "It is clear this is a problem almost all manufacturers in the food industry now face. There is widespread fraud being committed across Europe. This is totally unacceptable. I want to apologise to consumers and reassure them we remain vigilant. We will test for horse DNA on new deliveries of beef we receive from all our suppliers. We are enhancing our quality assurance and testing procedures to ensure that we don’t face the same problem in future. The quality and safety of our products is, and will always be our number one priority."

The products removed from the shelves in Spain are:

  • Fusilli boloñesa Buitoni.
  • Canelones microondas La Cocinera.
  • Empanada gallega de carne La Cocinera.
  • Relleno de carne La Cocinera.
  • Gratén de berenjenas La Cocinera.
  • Empanadillas de carne La Cocinera.

Meanwhile, IKEA has announced that it is taking an extra-precautionary measure by issuing a temporary sales stop of meatballs by a particular supplier in Sweden. This applies to all European countries apart from Norway, Russia and a limited number of products in Switzerland and Poland.

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