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Swiss food giant Nestle hit by horsemeat scandal

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Horsemeat products at a horse butcheray in Dortmund.

The Swiss-based food giant Nestle has been hit by a widespread horsemeat contamination scandal, forcing it to remove products from European stores.

“Our tests have found traces of horse DNA in two products,” Nestle said in a statement on Monday, adding, “The mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect from us.”

Nestle announced that it is removing two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini from sale in Italy and Spain immediately.

Concerns over the contamination first emerged in January when Irish authorities found traces of horse and pig DNA in beef-burgers made by firms in Ireland and Britain.

A frozen beef product for catering businesses produced in France will also be removed from shelves.

French firm Comigel announced that it had found traces of horsemeat in its products in sale in Britain.

Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it is not probable that the government could determine the exact number of people who have unknowingly consumed horsemeat.

Earlier last week, British public service trade union Unison raised concerns over the scandal, saying that the recent findings have proved the private sector profit is more important than public safety.

Horsemeat is eaten in a number of European and Asian countries, but it is considered taboo in Britain.


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