FINDUS FROZEN BEEF lasagne products found to contain up to 100 per cent horse meat in the UK were also on sale in Ireland, it was confirmed today.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said that it has been in contact with Findus since last night to establish which retailers had been supplied this product.
The authority said that Tesco withdrew this product from Irish shelves on Wednesday of this week, but did not notify the FSAI of this.
The FSAI is contacting the retail trade today to ensure this product is withdrawn from sale. It is advising Irish consumers to check if they have purchased this product and if they have, not to eat it, but to return it to the point of purchase.
The beef lasagne product has been withdrawn in the UK by Findus following the discovery of the presence of horse meat. This came after the supplier, a French-based company Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the product.
According to Professor Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of the FSAI, it is unknown at this point in time if these products pose a food safety risk. Tests have not been undertaken in the UK to establish if the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone is present in the frozen lasagnes.
Animals which have been treated with that drug are forbidden from entering the human food chain.
Prof Reilly said:
It is our understanding that Findus is testing the products for the presence of phenylbutazone. Phenylbutazone is a commonly used medicine in horses and horses treated with it are not allowed to enter the food chain. Our advice to consumers at this point, is not to consume this product, but to dispose of it or return it to their retailer.
The FSAI said that “full compliance with food law is required across the entire supply chain at all times and that food business operators must remain vigilant in ensuring the authenticity of ingredients used”.
Consumers who have queries regarding the affected product can contact the FSAI advice line on 1890 336677, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.