FSAI advises of Findus beef lasagne withdrawal in Ireland

Findus' Beef Lasagne tested 100% positive for horsemeat
Findus' Beef Lasagne tested 100% positive for horsemeat

The Food Safety Authority is contacting retailers across Ireland to ensure that the Findus Beef Lasagne that tested positive for up to 100% horsemeat, is removed from shelves



13 February 2013

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The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed that Findus beef lasagne products indentified in the UK which tested positive for up to 100% horse meat have been on sale in Ireland. The FSAI issued a press release on Friday 8 February, stating that it had been in contact with Findus since the previous night to establish which retailers had been supplied this product. 

Aldi has also announced that it felt "angry and let down" by its French supplier Comigel after tests discovered its Today’s Special frozen beef lasagne and Today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.

Comigel, which also produced the contaminated Findus beef lasagnes, has blamed its suppliers. Erick Lehagre of Findus said he believed his company was buying French beef from a company called Spanghero but it had since told him it had come from Romania.

Spanghero has said it was ready to take court action against the Romanian source of its meat whilst Findus issued a statement saying it would file a suit against an unidentified party.

"Findus is taking legal advice about the grounds for pursuing a case against its suppliers, regarding what they believe is their suppliers’ failure to meet contractual obligations about product integrity," the company stated.

"The early results from Findus UK’s internal investigation strongly suggests that the horsemeat contamination in Beef Lasagne was not accidental."

The FSAI confirmed last week that Tesco had withdrawn the Findus beef lasagne from Irish shelves on Wednesday 6 February, but did not notify the FSAI. The FSAI said it was contacting the retail trade to ensure the product is withdrawn from sale. The organisation is also advising Irish consumers to check if they have purchased this ready meal and if they have, not to eat it, but to return it to the point of purchase. 

The beef lasagne product has also been withdrawn in the UK by Findus following information from its French supplier, Comigel that there was an issue in relation to the type of meat used in the product.

According to Prof. Alan Reilly, chief executive, FSAI, it is unknown at this point in time if these products pose a food safety risk, as tests have not been undertaken in the UK to establish if the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone is present in the product. 

"It is our understanding that Findus is testing the products for the presence of phenylbutazone. Phenylbutazone is a commonly used medicine in horses and horses treated with it are not allowed to enter the food chain. Our advice to consumers at this point, is not to consume this product, but to dispose of it or return it to their retailer," he states.



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