Frozen food maker Birds Eye on Friday said it would withdraw some products in Britain and Ireland after it found traces of horse DNA in one of its ready meals sold in Belgium.
“Regrettably, we have found one product, chili con carne, produced for us by Frigilunch N.V. and sold in Belgium, that has tested positive for horse DNA at 2 percent,” Birds Eye said in a statement.
“As a precautionary measure in the UK and Ireland we will withdraw all other products produced by the same supplier, namely traditional spaghetti bolognese (340g), shepherd’s pie (400g) and beef lasagne (400g).”
Birds Eye, which is owned by Pinnacle Foods in North America and by private equity group Permira in Europe, said it would also immediately withdraw the chili con carne product from sale in Belgium.
The discovery of horse meat in food labeled as beef has triggered product recalls and damaged confidence in Europe’s vast and complex food industry. The scandal erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that some beef products also contained horse meat.
Birds Eye added that the withdrawn products would not be replaced on supermarkets shelves until it had completed an investigation into the issue and had complete confidence in Frigilunch N.V.
It said tests showed its beef burgers, beef pies and beef platters sold in Britain and Ireland did not contain horse DNA.