Nestle finds horsemeat in pasta dishes in Italy, Spain

February 19, 2013

Swiss food giant Nestle has become the latest retailer hit by Europe's horsemeat scandal, announcing it is removing pasta meals from supermarket shelves in Italy and Spain due to contamination.

"Our tests have found traces of horse DNA in two products," the world's biggest food company said in its statement Monday.

"The mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect from us," it added. Therefore the company is "voluntarily removing" two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini from sale in Italy and Spain immediately.

The tainted products breached the one percent threshold the British Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence, said.

A Nestle frozen for catering businesses, produced in France, will also be withdrawn from sale.

Nestle apologised to consumers while assuring that "actions being taken to deal with this issue will result in higher standards and enhanced traceability."

Concerns about first emerged in mid-January when Irish authorities found traces of horse in beefburgers made by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in including Tesco and Aldi.

The scandal then intensified when French firm Comigel alerted Findus this month to the presence of horsemeat in the meals it had made for the food giant and which were on sale in Britain.

Since then, supermarket chains have removed millions of "beef" products as tests are carried out to detect horsemeat, which is eaten in many European countries but is considered taboo in Britain.

Horsemeat in "beef" ready-to-eat meals had already been confirmed in products found in Britain, Ireland, France, Austria, Finland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. Most of the mislabelled products were made by Comigel.

With Italy and Spain now also tainted by the horsemeat scandal it appears that most of the continent has been affected.

Explore further: Burger King drops supplier linked to horsemeat (Update)

Related Stories

UK: Lasagna products 60 percent horsemeat (Update)

February 7, 2013

(AP)—Some beef lasagna products recalled from British stores contained more than 60 percent horsemeat, U.K. food safety authorities said Thursday. It was the latest revelation in a growing scandal surrounding the use of ...

Horsemeat scandal reaches Sweden (Update)

February 8, 2013

Sweden on Friday became the newest European country to be hit by a widening meat products scandal, as frozen-food company Findus said it was recalling beef lasagna meals there after tests confirmed the products contained ...

Cyprus destroys burgers over horsemeat fears

February 14, 2013

A Cypriot supermarket chain has destroyed more than 16 tonnes of beef burgers over fears they were contaminated with horsemeat, the authorities said on Thursday.

Runners and riders in Europe's horsemeat scandal

February 15, 2013

(AP)—The European Union agreed Friday to begin random DNA checks on meat products in a bid to put a lid on a spreading scandal over horsemeat, while British authorities announced traces of horse had been found in school ...

Recommended for you

Mobile app records our erratic eating habits

September 24, 2015

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? For too many of us, the three meals of the day go more like: office meeting pastry, mid-afternoon energy drink, and midnight pizza. In Cell Metabolism on September 24, Salk Institute scientists ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2013
What wrong with a bit of horse???

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.