Beef in UK lasagne was '100% horse'

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LONDON. February 8. KAZINFORM The meat of some beef lasagne products recalled by Findus earlier this week was 100% horsemeat, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

On Monday Findus withdrew from retailers its beef lasagne in 320g, 360g and 500g sizes as a precaution.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the findings were "completely unacceptable", but Findus said it did not believe it was a food safety issue.

The FSA said companies would now be required to test their beef products.

"In order to get to the bottom of this, we're going to be requiring every company to test every product line," Catherine Brown, the FSA's chief executive, told the BBC.

"If we find any other cases, we will pursue our investigations vigorously until we find out what's happened and put a stop to it."

Ms Brown said it was "highly likely" that criminal activity was to blame for horsemeat being found in some meals, BBC reported.

'Cannot be tolerated'

The FSA said Findus had tested 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 meals containing between 60% and 100% horsemeat.

People have been warned not to eat the products, which were made for Findus by French food supplier Comigel.

The FSA said: "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 [the drug] may pose a risk to human health.

"The Findus beef lasagne was distributed to the main UK supermarkets and smaller convenience stores. Findus has already begun a full recall of these products.

"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."

Mr Paterson said the presence of unauthorised ingredients "cannot be tolerated".

"The responsibility for the safety and authenticity of food lies with those who produce it, and who sell or provide it to the final consumer. I know that food producers, retailers and caterers are as concerned as we are at the course of recent events," he said.

He said the government was working closely with businesses to "root out any illegal activity" and enforce regulations.

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