• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Food safety watchdog may report Findus

The Local · 10 Feb 2013, 15:44

Published: 10 Feb 2013 15:44 GMT+01:00

Findus could be found guilty of breaking the Food Act after mislabelling its single-portion lasagne meal as a beef product. Tests revealed that it contained some horse meat.

Commenting on the scandal, Sweden's minister of rural affairs, Eskil Erlandsson, said it was a case of "cheating" and "fraud".

The National Food Agency plans to hold a meeting on Monday to discuss how to stop meat scams in Sweden.

"We may report Findus to the police. We have not decided yet, though it would be a natural consequence of discovering errors like this," Mona-Lisa Dahlbom-Wiedel, a department head at the National Food Agency, told the TT news agency.

Dahlbom-Wiedel stressed that the Agency will, in the first hand, focus on removing the mislabelled products from Swedish supermarkets and on finding out exactly what happened.

"A group of people from across the Food Agency's departments will meet to try to map out what has happened and what we can do about it," said Dahlbom-Wiedel.

The National Food Agency will also investigate whether other companies could also have broken the law by mislabelling their products.

In another recent food scam in Sweden it emerged that 100 tonnes of pork fillets had been dyed and then labelled and sold as beef tenderloin.

The horsemeat scandal spread to Sweden from the UK after tests there revealed that Findus' lasagne contained up to 99 percent horse meat.

Britain's environment secretary, Owen Patterson, held a crisis meeting with retailers, food producer groups and the UK Food Standards Agency on Saturday to ask how "beef" products containing up to 100 percent horsemeat were sold.

He said it was "totally unacceptable" and that "there has either been gross incompetence in some of these cases or a criminal international conspiracy."

Findus' ready meals are produced in a factory in Luxembourg by the French manufacturer Comigel. The meat was delivered to Comigel via the French meat handling company Spanghero, which, according to French media reports, falsified documents with information about the meat.

According to France's vice finance minister, Benoit Hamon, Spanghero bought the frozen meat "from a Cypriot trader which had contracted a trader in the Netherlands, which in turn received the delivery from a slaughterhouse in Rumania."

Spanghero claims that it acted in good faith and has threatened to sue the Rumanian slaughterhouse.

"Comigel's and Spanghero's cheating is a scandal which has affected consumers across Europe," Jari Latvanen, CEO of Findus Nordic, told TT.

"Everyone has the right to feel upset and disappointed. But we are disappointed too because we have also been cheated," he added.

Findus is now preparing a lawsuit against Comigel.

Story continues below…

"It is a breach of contract and it also a case of fraud. The contract states that the beef should come either from Germany, France or Austria. We can now confirm that that is not the case," said Latvanen.

He is upset that Findus has gotten the blame over the scandal.

"We are the ones who exposed the fraud but a disproportionate share of the blame has fallen on Findus. There are many parties in Europe that have been affected by Comigel's cheating in Luxemburg. We discovered it thanks to our high demands on quality", said Latvanen.

Previously, Henrik Nyberg, head of production at Findus in Sweden, said 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," said Nyberg.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:20 February 10, 2013 by Mib
The blind leading the blind. It is the responsibility of the end supplier to check that the food is what is described in the ingredients and the Government Food Agency to ensure public safety by monitoring the food chain. The consequences could have been catastrophic!
20:35 February 10, 2013 by Mihai21
This is a political truth:Britain is preparing to stop labor market restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians and seeks to discretibilizeze with any action, Romania.Restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian that EU maximum permitted, ending in December 2013.Is a big scandal in the Romanian and England about the image of both countries...but in the end the British are fools who believe that Romania is inside in... China!!!
Today's headlines
Fears new funding rules could hobble Swedish startups
Elin Olsson funded the development of her innovative smoke detector through crowdfunding. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Crowdfunding is a risky business, but could Swedish plans to regulate it make it too hard for small companies to get investment?

Ikea recalls chocolate over nut allergy fears
Ikea has recalled several chocolate bars. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix/TT

Don't eat these bars if you are allergic to nuts or almonds.

Did this Swedish cop just make the arrest of the year?
Mikaela Kellner in action. Photo: Private

Imagine wrestling a criminal to the ground – while wearing a bikini.

Sweden's champion prawn peeler hauls in a big catch
Prawn peelers in action. Photo: Bengt Johansson

The Olympics are getting closer, but Sweden already has a new champion in an hotly contested "sport": prawn peeling.

Baby dies after midwife denies woman's request for c-section
Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

The midwife insisted on six attempts at vaginal birth before an emergency caesarean section was carried out.

Don't let them bite! Bedbugs proliferate in Swedish hotels
Swedish bedbug fighter Jonny Ström does his thing in 2014. Library photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The number of bedbugs in Swedish hotels has doubled in recent years, according to figures from pest control firm Anticimex.

Swedish state agencies 'outsource jobs to spies'
The Stockholm headquarters of the Swedish Security Service, Säpo. File photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Foreign countries are trying to infiltrate the Swedish state by winning government contracts, it has been claimed.

What's on in Sweden
The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week
The Norberg Festival at an old ore mine. Photo: Peo Bengtsson

How about a party on an island, in an old quarry or a former mining camp? That's all on offer in Sweden this week.

Swedish police backtrack on 'gunfight' claims
The scene of the shooting on June 22nd. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Police have retracted a claim that a suspected gunman had fired shots at a patrol unit before officers shot him dead.

Crayfish poachers send Swedes' blood boiling
Has anyone seen this crayfish? Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Oh no, not just before crayfish season!

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Anyone for a bite of 340-year-old shipwrecked stinky cheese?
Gallery
People-watching: July 27th
Politics
Why Sweden's high taxes are not as high as you think
Blog updates

26 July

A summer of change; a summer of beauty (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"You would have had to try hard to miss the political upheavals in the UK after…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
What's haggis in a condom doing on Swedish children's TV?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,372
jobs available