French supermarket chains recall beef products

Updated: Sunday, 10 Feb 2013 22:10

Six big French retailers have said they are recalling lasagne meals and other products suspected of being mis-labelled after the discovery of horsemeat in beef products.

The British unit of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne last week on advice from its French supplier, Comigel.

French and British governments have since vowed to punish those found responsible for allowing horsemeat originating from Romania to be sold as beef.

French retailers' federation FCD said that French supermarkets were also pulling several products supplied by Findus and Comigel on concerns that they were mis-labelled.

The supermarkets are Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Monoprix and Picard.

An initial French investigation has revealed that the horsemeat ended up in a Luxembourg factory supplied by a French firm and that a Dutch and Cypriot trader had also been involved although the meat originally came from a Romanian abattoir.

French Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon said in Le Parisien newspaper that the apparent fraud had generated profits of €300,000 and may have been going on since August.

He also said he expected further investigation to reveal whether French meat processing firm Spanghero at the heart of the supply chain was aware it had bought horsemeat or had been deceived.