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Swedish horsemeat scandal grows

Published: 09 Feb 2013 10:02 GMT+01:00

The company behind the retailers' withdrawn products used meat from the slaughterhouse that supplied meat for Findus' recalled single-portion beef lasagne.

Axfood, Coop and Ica are therefore concerned that some of the products sold in their supermarkets, which are labelled as beef lasagnes, may actually contain horsemeat.

The products are Eldorado Lasagne Bolognese 1 kilo, Willys Lasagne Bolognese 400 gram, Hemköp Lasagne Bolognese 400 gram, Coop lasagne 400 gram, and Ica Basic 400 gram.

"We suspect that the mince could contain horsemeat, but it has not been confirmed yet by the supplier," Johanna Stiernstedt, quality manager at Ica, told the TT news agency.

Like Findus, Axfood sent samples of meat for analysis, but the lab has not yet confirmed the company's suspicions.

All affected food companies have insisted that there is no health risk involved in eating the horsemeat.

Findus had to recall beef lasagne ready meals in the UK too after tests there showed that they contained up to 99 percent horsemeat, reported the Guardian newspaper.

In France, Findus withdrew moussaka and cottage pie meals from the supermarkets.

Findus' ready meals are produced in Luxembourg by the French manufacturer Comigel.

Erich Lehagre, the director of Comigel, told AFP that the horsemeat came from a Rumanian slaughterhouse and was delivered to Comigel via the French meat handling company Spanghero.

Comigel delivers frozen meals to 16 countries, including Scandinavia.

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the Findus lasagne is probably not dangerous but ordered tests to determine whether it contains the common horse painkiller phenylbutazone, often known as bute, which is banned from entering the food chain.

Henrik Nyberg, head of production at Findus in Sweden, said the company has not yet decided what actions to take against Comigel.

"We have put a lot of pressure on this supplier," Nyberg said.

"What is already clear is that Comigel's subcontractor will never again deliver meat to Findus. We demand certificates and verifications from our suppliers and we carry out regular quality controls. It was at one of these controls that the supplier noticed the error," Nyberg explained.

All other beef suppliers have assured Findus that there is no horsemeat in their products.

Swedish customers with the product at home have been advised to return it, or to contact Findus online or by telephone.

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:48 February 9, 2013 by byke
I love this assertion, where blame is passed on to sub contractors.

Fact is, its Findus as a brand that is marketing these donkey meals as beef, which they are not.

If a Sony TV was to go wrong, you wouldnt be fed some BS story looking to pass the issue of a faulty so and so onto another subcontracting company.

The buck stopped with Findus and they have been very slow at acknowledging the problem with some suggesting they have known about this as far back as August last year, but chosen to do nothing about it. And have only acted after widespread disgust and feet dragging leading to negative media.

I want to know about IKEA and their meat ranges.

#Only in Sweden.
13:10 February 9, 2013 by calebian22
Mmm, Wilbur is tasty!
17:09 February 9, 2013 by sleezypornorangutang
Just put a horse meat label on it. As long as it don´t got none of them nasty painkillers in it, it´s all edible protein. Soon we´ll eat crickets up here anyways...
19:29 February 9, 2013 by johan rebel
This is a scandal?
11:10 February 10, 2013 by fikatid
No wonder it tastes so good!
11:14 February 10, 2013 by Vartduanga
They need to lower the price and I will take them.
17:43 February 15, 2013 by Lars Ekstrom
I tried a Findus Lasagna but it gave me the trotts.

My doctor told me to watch what I eat so I went to the race course.
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