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Findus beef lasagne meals may have contained 100pc horse meat

Britain’s Food Standards Agency says tests have shown at least 60pc horse meat content in a beef product – and maybe more.

Image: WordRidden via Flickr

BRITAIN’S FOOD standards and safety watchdog has said tests on samples of a popular frozen beef lasagne have revealed that at least 60 per cent of the beef content was actually horse meat.

The tests on the Findus beef lasagne products came after the supplier, a French-based company called Comigel, raised concerns about the legitimacy of its supplies.

The Food Standards Agency confirmed that the tests had shown horse content of at least 60 per cent – though it has been reported that the content could be upward of 90 per cent or more.

The Guardian said that one sample had tested above 90 per cent, while Sky News said it understood that other samples had shown total, 100 per cent horse content.

British Tesco and Aldi stores had already withdrawn Comigel products from sale after the supplier’s warning.

While the agency said the products did not pose a threat to human health, they had ordered tests for the presence of a veterinary drug, phenylbutazone, which can cause rare cases of a type of anaemia in some humans.

As a result, animals which have been treated with the drug – more commonly known as ‘bute’ – are forbidden from entering the human food chain.

The latest developments are unrelated to the ongoing investigations into the origin of horse meat that was found in products produced in Ireland.

Several British chains have begun investigations into the authenticity of their own supplies, however, following tests by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland which revealed the presence of horse meat in products produced at several facilities in the Republic.

Some of the products affected had been available for sale in Britain.

Ireland’s agriculture minister Simon Coveney has called in Gardaí to investigate the source of the horse meat, which has been blamed on an imported product from Poland.

Read: McAdam Foods “shocked” to discover equine content was in its meat products

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Gavan Reilly

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