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Up to 60% horse DNA found in Tesco spaghetti bolognese

The supermarket retailer has apologised for letting its customers down, saying that a DNA testing programme is now underway.

Image: Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

FROZEN TESCO SPAGHETTI bolognese products have been found to contain up to 60 per cent horse DNA.

The company said today that a week ago it withdrew a frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese product from sale. “We did this as a precaution because Findus products from the same factory were reportedly at risk of containing horsemeat,” said Tesco.

Since then, we have carried out a number of tests on the product and those tests identified the presence of horse DNA. Of the positive results, most are at a trace level of less than 1 per cent but three showed significant levels of horse DNA, exceeding 60 per cent.

The supermarket retailer has also carried out further tests to ensure that there is no danger to customers’ health through the presence of potentially harmful bute in the meat.  The test for bute was clear.

Tesco commented:

The frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese should contain only Irish beef from our approved suppliers. The source of the horsemeat is still under investigation by the relevant authorities. The level of contamination suggests that Comigel was not following the appropriate production process for our Tesco product and we will not take food from their facility again.

Last week it was discovered that Findus frozen lasagne was taken from Tesco shelves due to the recent horsemeat scares. Testing in the UK showed that the lasagnes contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat in some instances.

Today, Tesco apologised for what had occurred, saying:

We are very sorry that we have let customers down. We set ourselves high standards for the food we sell and we have had two cases in recent weeks where we have not met those standards. Our DNA testing programme is underway and will give us and our customers assurance that the product they buy is what it should be.

Horsemeat scandal

Today it emerged that as many as 16 countries could be affected by the horse meat scandal, with French ministers holding emergency talks today.

Seven French supermarket chains have withdrawn frozen beef meals made by Findus and Comigel – a French company – following the discovery of horsemeat in the food products.

The controversy initially began in Ireland, when it emerged that the Food Safety Authority had found as much as 30 per cent horse DNA in frozen beef burgers sold in supermarkets.

An investigation is underway in Ireland, with the FSAI, the gardaí and the Department of Agriculture all involved in trying to uncover how horsemeat ended up in products labelled as beef.

Read: As many as 16 countries could be hit by horse meat scandal>

Read: Horsemeat contamination likely ‘not accidental’: Findus UK>

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