ALDI CONFIRMS UP TO 100% OF HORSEMEAT IN ITS BEEF PRODUCTS
The environment secretary met with the Food Standards Agency, food suppliers and retailers over the weekend to discuss the horsemeat scandal after Aldi became the latest supermarket to confirm its beef products contained up to 100% horsemeat.
Owen Paterson said it was unacceptable that consumers were mis-sold products, but that the problems originated overseas. “We believe that the two particular cases of the frozen burgers from Tesco and the lasagna from Findus are linked to suppliers in Ireland and France respectively. We and the Food Standards Agency are working closely with the authorities in these countries, as well as with Europol, to get to the root of the problem,” he said.
An Aldi spokesperson said the company felt “angry and let down” by its French supplier Comigel after they tested their Today’s Special frozen beef lasagna and Today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese to have contained between 30% and 100% horsemeat.
“This is completely unacceptable and like other affected companies, we feel angry and let down by our supplier. If the label says beef, our customers expect it to be beef. Suppliers are absolutely clear that they are required to meet our stringent specifications and that we do not tolerate any failure to do so.” The company added that it would test the meals for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, often referred to as bute, but said it was confident the meals were safe.
Paterson said he believed the food was safe but urged consumers to return products to the retailers. “The French authorities are saying they are viewing the issue as a case of fraud rather than food safety. Anyone who has these products in their freezer should return them to retailers as a precaution.”
While it’s obvious that everybody is pointing the finger at the other, the Metropolitan police said in a statement it would not carry out a criminal investigation until “it becomes clear there has been any criminality under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan police service.”