Horsemeat: French supplier warning sparks beef product recalls

Tesco, Aldi and Findus have removed beef products from sale following warnings over ingredients from their French supplier.

Tesco withdrew its Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese after Findus pulled beef lasagne products produced at the same site. Aldi subsequently removed its Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti bolognese products.

The move came after French supplier Comigel issued a warning that some of the ingredients found in the Findus and Aldi products did not match the product specification.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Following the withdrawal of Findus beef lasagne, which is produced by Comigel, we have decided to withdraw our frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, which is produced at the same site, as a precautionary measure.  

“There is no evidence that our product has been contaminated and the meat used in the Findus product is not used in our product. However, we have decided to withdraw the product pending the results of our own tests.”

Findus UK withdrew its 320g, 360g, 500g Findus Beef Lasagnes on Monday “as a precautionary measure”. However, the company claimed the recall did not raise issues over food safety.

A Findus UK spokesperson said: “Findus UK is committed to providing high-quality food to our customers. Deserving consumers’ trust is a key priority for us. As part of that commitment, we have been constantly reviewing our supply chain. The supplier that produces Findus Beef Lasagne has informed us that they have a labelling issue and have asked us to withdraw the affected product.”

It added that the Beef Lasagne product, which is sourced externally and not manufactered by Findus UK, was the the only product thought to be affected at this time.

Findus has confirmed that it is working closely with retailers, the Food Standard Agency (FSA) and Trading Standards authorities. The company is also conducting a full re-assessment of its supplier’s sourcing.

The recalls have sparked speculation that the beef used in the products could have been contaminated with horsemeat. However, none of the companies involved have commented on the nature of the problem with the ingredients.

This is the latest development in the contamination scandal that has rocked the meat industry in recent months, with UK and Irish food safety authorities continuing to investigate the origins of horse and pig DNA found in beef products.


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