Greencore has confirmed that it supplied the beef bolognese sauce that Asda has withdrawn from shelves after tests revealed the presence of horse DNA.
The company is currently awaiting the results of further quantitative tests that will validate the presence and the extent of the equine DNA.
The sauce contained meat that was supplied to Greencore under contract by the ABP Food Group's Nenagh plant in County Tipperary, Ireland, an approved and regularly audited supplier.
– Greencore statement
The company is working closely with them to determine the full facts as we await the results of the further tests.
Asda's withdrawal is first fresh, i.e. non frozen, product hit. The factory supplies at least three other big supermarkets.
– ASDA STATEMENT
As you'd expect we are withdrawing the Beef Bolognese sauce from our shelves. We are taking a belt-and-braces approach so, in addition, as a precaution we're also withdrawing three other beef-based products produced by the same supplier.
We have no positive test results for horse DNA in any of these products, but we feel it is the right thing to withdraw them anyway.
We're very sorry if this ongoing situation is causing our customers any upset or inconvenience. We, along with the rest of the industry, are working hard to ensure they can have complete confidence in the food they buy.
Staffordshire Council have decided to take meat off the menu in 350 schools across the county.
The move comes as the Government was accused in the Commons of "catastrophic complacency" in its response to the crisis, whilst police made three arrests in connection with fraud at two meat plants inspected by the Food Standards Agency on Tuesday.
Asda has withdrawn four products from its shelves after its product 500g Beef Bolognese Sauce tested positive for horse DNA.
Three other products from the same supplier, Greencore, have been removed as a precaution:
- 600g Beef Broth Soup
- 500g Meat Feast Pasta Sauce
- 400g Chilli Con Carne Soup
French company Spanghero have rejected accusations in by the French government's investigation into mislabelling of horsemeat. In a statement to Reuters, it said it was selling beef.
The French government has said the French company involved in the horsemeat scandal, Spanghero, knowingly sold on horsemeat labelled as beef.
The government spokesman said that there was "no reason to doubt" that the Romanian supplier of the meat, was "acting in good faith".
A significant amount of horsemeat containing the painkiller phenylbutazone, or bute, could have been entering the food chain for some time, the Food Standards Agency said.
FSA Chief executive Catherine Brown said the agency increased testing of the horse carcasses over a three month period last year, after intelligence from abattoirs suggested bute was getting into the food chain.
Earlier tests by the FSA revealed that 6% of horse carcasses tested positive for bute, prompting the FSA to start testing 100% of horse meat in January, which revealed the eight contaminated carcasses. Ms Brown said:
That would say there has been a significant amount of carcasses with bute in going into the food chain for some time.