Supermarket says it is angry with supplier Comigel after tests reveal 30% and 100% horsemeat in withdrawn ready meals
Saturday 9 February 2013
Aldi has confirmed horsemeat has been found in its withdrawn beef products
Aldi withdrew its Today’s Special frozen beef lasagne and spaghetti bolognese products earlier in the week as a precaution.
The environment secretary is due to meet the Food Standards Agency, food suppliers and retailers on Saturday to discuss the horsemeat scandal after Aldi became the latest supermarket to confirm its withdrawn beef products contained up to 100% horsemeat.
Owen Paterson said it was unacceptable that consumers were mis-sold products, but that the problems originated overseas.
“We believe that the two particular cases of the frozen burgers from Tesco and the lasagne from Findus are linked to suppliers in Ireland and France respectively. We and the Food Standards Agency are working closely with the authorities in these countries, as well as with Europol, to get to the root of the problem,” he said.
Paterson said he believed the food was safe but urged consumers to return products to the retailers. “The French authorities are saying they are viewing the issue as a case of fraud rather than food safety. Anyone who has these products in their freezer should return them to retailers as a precaution.”.
Aldi said it felt “angry and let down” by its French supplier Comigel after tests on Today’s Special frozen beef lasagne and Today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese found they contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.
Comigel, which also produced the contaminated Findus beef lasagnes, has blamed its suppliers. Erick Lehagre 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.
A spokesman for Aldi said random tests had shown that the products they had withdrawn contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.
“This is completely unacceptable and like other affected companies, we feel angry and let down by our supplier. If the label says beef, our customers expect it to be beef. Suppliers are absolutely clear that they are required to meet our stringent specifications and that we do not tolerate any failure to do so,” he said.
The company added that it would test the meals for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, often referred to as bute, but said it was confident the meals were safe.
Hospitals and education authorities were als0 checking the food they provide for traces of horsemeat. A spokeswoman for the Local Authority Caterers Association said: “We are as sure as we can be that this is not affecting the school catering area.”
She said there were strict guidelines around food safety and supplying dinners in schools, including transparency and traceability of ingredient provenance, and this was written into contracts.
- UK SHOCK: Beef Lasagne Meals ’100% Horsemeat’… (news.sky.com)