Nestlé has removed beef pasta products from sale in Italy, Spain and France after horse DNA was found in them.
The Swiss-based business, which is the world’s biggest food company, said testing had found trace amounts of horse DNA above levels of 1% in two products.
As a result, two chilled pasta products were removed from distribution in Italy and Spain, including Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini. Also, a frozen product made for the French catering industry, called Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes, is to be removed from distribution.
Only last week, Nestlé said it was unaffected by the Europe-wide horsemeat scandal.
The company has also suspended the delivery of products containing beef from a German subcontractor.
Meanwhile, the French processing firm accused of labelling horsemeat as beef had its operating licence partially reinstated yesterday.
Spanghero’s license was suspended last Thursday after it was accused of using Romanian horsemeat as beef. However, on Monday the French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll said the company would be allowed to make sausages, ready-to-eat meals and minced meat, but would only be allowed to use fresh meats in its production.
The French authorities accused Spanghero of buying around 750 tonnes of horsemeat from Romanian abattoirs through Dutch and Cypriot companies, which it said was done over an “estimated six-month period”.
Horsemeat found its way into an estimated 4.5m processed “beef” products, which were sold across Europe by the company Comigel. However, Spanghero has insisted all along that it was not responsible for the “mislabelling” of the products.