LONDON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- It is highly likely "criminals" are responsible for contaminating British food products with horse meat, a government food safety official said.
Britain's Food Standards Agency ordered tests on all processed beef products after two frozen beef lasagnas were found to contain horse meat.
The food company Findus said 11 of 18 of their ready-to-eat meals, advertised as containing 100 percent beef, were actually 60-80 percent horse meat, the newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Friday, adding the company has withdrawn 180,000 lasagnas from sale for further testing.
In a statement Friday FSA said the investigation "points to either gross negligence or deliberate contamination in the food chain."
"I have to say that the two cases of gross contamination that we see here indicate it is highly likely there has been criminal and fraudulent activity involved," said Catherine Brown, FSA chief executive.
The foods are being tested for a painkiller, given to horses, which can cause serious blood disorders, the newspaper said.
Findus said a French firm, Comigel, has been supplying meat for its lasagnas for more than two years.
|Additional World News Stories|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 20 (UPI) --An investigation into the killing by the Philippines coast guard of a Taiwanese fisherman is focusing on whether rules of engagement were broken.
LAS VEGAS, May 20 (UPI) --Teen pop star Justin Bieber was greeted by both cheers and jeers when he picked up the Milestone Award at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.
TOKYO, May 19 (UPI) --The Nikkei index, maintaining its upward momentum, jumped past 15,300 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange early Monday, its highest level in 65 months.