Skip to main content

Food giant Nestle recalls products after horse meat discovery

By CNN Staff
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1602 GMT (0002 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: No information to suggest donkey meat is in the food chain, UK food agency says
  • NEW: France partially lifts a suspension on Spanghero
  • Nestle is one of the world's largest food companies
  • It said it found some horse meat in some of the beef it tested

(CNN) -- Nestle is suspending deliveries of all its products that include beef from a German supplier because "traces of horse DNA" were found in the meat, the Swiss-based food giant said on its website Monday.

Nestle also is recalling two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, from store shelves in Italy and Spain, the news release said. A lasagna product sold to French catering businesses will also be recalled.

"Our tests have found traces of horse DNA in two products made from beef supplied by H.J. Schypke," the statement said. "The levels found are above the one percent threshold the UK's Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence."

The company said there are no food safety issues and it had notified the authorities.

Europe deals with horse meat scandal
Horse, pig meat found in frozen burgers
Romanian PM: Horse meat labeled right
Amb: Romania not to blame for horse meat

H.J. Schypke is a subcontractor of JBS Toledo N.V., a Belgian supplier.

Opinion: Scandal shines spotlight on murky horse trade

Unauthorized horse meat has been discovered in a variety of products labeled as beef that were sold in supermarkets in countries including Britain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland.

Also on Monday, the French government lifted a suspension tied to the production of minced meat, sausages and ready-made meals at Spanghero. The French firm will still not be allowed to stock frozen raw meat.

Spanghero should have known that the meat it labeled as beef was actually horse, French Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon has said.

Spanghero was the first company to label the meat as beef, the minister said, adding that 750 tons of horse meat were involved over a period of at least six months.

Spanghero should have identified the meat as horse from its Romanian customs code, as well as its appearance, smell and price, he said.

Horse meat concerns date to February 2012, officials say

A Spanghero representative has told CNN the company had acted in good faith. "The company has never ordered horse meat, and we never knowingly sold horse meat," the representative said.

The affair has been passed to the Paris prosecutor to be investigated as fraud, Hamon said. The offense is punishable by up to two years in prison and fines of up to €187,500 (about $250,000) for the companies involved.

Meanwhile, UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson met with representatives of food businesses to talk about the response to the horse meat scandal.

"I welcome the food businesses' commitment to testing their products. They all assured me that they will not rest until they have established the full picture. There is still much to be done to find out exactly how this happened and how it can be prevented from happening again, and to do everything possible to reassure consumers about the food on our shelves," he said in a statement after the meeting.

Paterson said the representatives "agreed to do their level best to report back as many testing results as possible" to the Food Standards Agency by Friday.

Separately, the agency told CNN that it has no information to suggest donkey meat is in the food chain.

The meat industry was first thrust into the spotlight last month when Irish investigators found horse and pig DNA in hamburger products. The discovery of pig DNA in beef products is of particular concern to Jews and Muslims, whose dietary laws forbid the consumption of pork products. Jewish dietary laws also ban the consumption of horse meat.

First UK test reveals scope of horse meat contamination

CNN's Nic Robertson contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT