Horse meat scandal continues to spread

The recent horse meat scandal which has seen various meat products pulled from the shelves in Europe and the UK has spread to Asia, with an imported lasagne product recalled from shelves in Hong Kong’s ParknShop retailers.

Brands embroiled in the scandal include Nestle, Brazil’s beef producer JBS, British supermarket chain Tesco, and frozen food company Findus – the manufacturer of the lasagnes pulled from the shelves in Hong Kong and Europe.

Other countries to have pulled various products include Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany and The Netherlands.

According to news.com.au, Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety said the lasagnes "might be adulterated with horse meat which has not undergone tests for veterinary drugs.

"The product was removed from our stores last week following the government's instructions," a ParknShop spokeswoman told AFP.

Nowaco brand frozen ‘beef’ lasagne products in Tesco stores in the Czech Republic, have also been withdrawn after the horse meat was discovered.

The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority said it had found horse DNA in two samples of the Nowaco meals manufactured by the Tavola company in Luxembourg.

While horse meat is sold for human consumption in the Czech Republic, authorities have said the product’s labeling is misleading.

Spanghero, the French meat processing company at the centre of the controversy has been accused of passing off 750 tonnes of horse meat as beef, with horsemeat being found in 4.5 million "beef" products across Europe.

Earlier this week the company was allowed to resume production of minced meat, sausages and ready-to-eat meals, however it will no longer be allowed to stock frozen meat. According to news.com.au it also cannot act as middleman between slaughterhouses and food-processing companies – which is allegedly how Spanghero was able to change labels on horse meat from Romania and sell it as beef.


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