Dutch recall 50,000 tons of meat across Europe

by Mike Corder

(AP)—Dutch authorities are recalling 50,000 tons of meat sold as beef across Europe because its exact source cannot be established and it may contain horse meat, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The announcement was the latest development in a far-reaching scandal that saw mixed in with other meats and sold as beef across the continent without informing consumers. The scandal led to recalls of products ranging from frozen lasagna to Ikea's Swedish meatballs.

In all, 370 different companies around Europe and 132 more in the Netherlands are affected by the latest because they bought from two Dutch trading companies, said Esther Filon of the Netherlands Food and Authority.

The food authority said in a statement that because the exact source of the meat cannot be traced "its safety cannot be guaranteed." The statement added that Dutch authorities have "no concrete indications that there is a risk to public health."

Filon said the recall covers meat dating back to Jan. 1, 2011, up until Feb. 15 this year, when the companies at the heart of the recall were placed under heightened scrutiny and faced .

She conceded that—because the recall dates back more than two years—some of the meat "may already have been consumed." Filon said authorities are bound by law to recall the meat if it is unclear where exactly it came from.

"If meat has an unclear source then the law—the general food law—says it is no longer fit for human or animal food," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Dutch authorities began a large-scale investigation into the country's meat industry in February after the horse meat scandal broke across Europe.

The authority named two companies with the same owner as the source of the meat covered by Wednesday's recall: Wiljo Import en Export B.V. and Vleesgroothandel Willy Selten B.V.

Calls to Willy Selten went unanswered Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how much of the meat is likely to be tracked down. Dutch authorities say they have no plans to test all the meat. The recall covers countries including France, Germany and Spain and the nations involved are responsible for managing it.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU says too early to impose meat labelling

Feb 12, 2013

The European Commission said Tuesday it is too early to require labelling on meat used in processed foods despite growing uproar over horse meat being passed off as beef in frozen hamburgers and lasagne.

Q&A: Chances of a horse meat scandal in the US?

Feb 28, 2013

(AP)—The horse meat scandal that is hitting Europe has yet to spread to the United States, allowing American consumers to rest easier when buying ground beef or sitting down for a plate of meatballs at ...

Horsemeat scandal reaches Sweden (Update)

Feb 08, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Electronic health records tied to shorter time in ER

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Length of emergency room stay for trauma patients is shorter with the use of electronic health records, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate ...

User comments