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Some Findus meals '100% horse meat'
The Food Standards Agency said tests had been ordered on Findus beef lasagne for veterinary drug phynlbutazone
Testing on Findus beef lasagne has revealed that some of the ready meals may have contained up to 100% horse meat, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.
Shoppers who bought the lasagne products, which are made by French food supplier Comigel on behalf of Findus, have been warned not to eat them.
Findus tested 18 of its beef lasagne products which found 11 meals containing 60% to 100% horse meat, the FSA said. Retail giant Tesco and discount chain Aldi withdrew a range of ready meals produced by Comigel over fears they contained contaminated meat.
The FSA said there is no evidence to suggest the horse meat found is a food safety risk. But the agency confirmed tests have been ordered on the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone. Animals treated with "bute" are not allowed to enter the food chain.
An FSA statement said: "As part of its ongoing investigation into mislabelled meat, the Food Standards Agency has confirmed that the meat content of beef lasagne products recalled by Findus has tested positive for more than 60% horse meat.
"Findus withdrew the beef lasagne products after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the lasagne. We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk. However, the FSA has ordered Findus to test the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, or 'bute'. Animals treated with phenylbutazone are not allowed to enter the food chain as it may pose a risk to human health."
Anyone who bought the lasagne products should return them to the shop they were bought from, the FSA said.
Findus UK withdrew its 320g, 360g and 500g lasagne meals from supermarket shelves as a precautionary measure earlier this week. It came after Comigel alerted Findus and Aldi that their products "do not conform to specification".
It advised them to remove Findus beef lasagne and Aldi's Today's Special frozen beef lasagne and Today's Special frozen spaghetti bolognese. Tesco also decided to withdraw its Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese, which is produced at the same Comigel site. The FSA added: "People who have bought any Findus beef lasagne products are advised not to eat them and return them to the shop they bought them from."
Findus UK apologised to customers and said anyone who bought the affected lasagne products could get a full refund. A spokesman said: "We understand this it is a very sensitive subject for consumers and we would like to reassure you we have reacted immediately. We do not believe this to be a food safety issue." He added: "Consumers who have purchased the product should call our Findus UK Customer Care Line on UK 0800 132584, ROI 1800 800500 or email email@example.com for a full refund.