The horse-meat contamination scandal is growing to nightmare proportions in Britain and Ireland, with more frozen beef products being withdrawn after tests revealed the presence of equine DNA.
The latest revelations follow the withdrawal of 20,000 beef lasagne meals by Findus in Sweden, following the discovery of horse meat in the products.
The latests withdrawal involves lasagnes and spaghetti bolognese products stocked by Aldi stores in Ireland.
On Saturday, it was announced that the stores were withdrawing their Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spagetti Bolognaise.
The products were sourced from Luxembourg, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
Aldi’s own checks revealed that some of the frozen beef lasagnes and spaghetti bolognese contained between 30 per cent and 100 per cent horse meat.
“The products have been withdrawn from sale from Aldi stores in Ireland. Tests are currently under way to determine if the horse meat contains the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone, a common anti-inflammatory drug used in horses which is banned from entering the human food chain.
The authority advised consumers not to eat the lasagnes or spaghetti bolognese, but to dispose of them or return them to the retailer.
Britain’s Food Standards Agency also reported the withdrawal of the products from Aldi stores.
It said the products implicated were from the French supplier, Comigel, the company that also supplied Findus.
“The Food Standards Agency has issued advice to other retailers or producers that have sourced beef products from the French company Comigel,” it said.
“In light of the latest information from Aldi, the Food Standards Agency recommends that any retailers or producers that have sourced beef products from the French company Comigel should conduct a precautionary withdrawal of product.”
It said it was working with French authorities and would provide further advice and information next week.
Frozen Findus lasagnes in 320g, 360g and 500g packs are being pulled from shelves in Ireland.
Findus’ own checks revealed that some of its frozen lasagnes contain more than 60% horse meat, Ireland’s food watchdog said.
“The products have been withdrawn from sale from Tesco stores in Ireland, but may also be on sale in independent retail shops.”
Tests are under way to determine if the horse meat contained phenylbutazone.
It urged manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, caterers and retailers to remove Findus lasagnes from sale.
In Britain, shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “We’ve had 10 million beef burgers withdrawn. What tests have been conducted on them, if any?
“The big concern for me now is corner shops, schools, hospitals, prisons, public-sector caterers, people who may have these products sitting in their fridges and freezers.
“There’s been absolutely no advice from Government ministers about what people should do.”