'Criminals' blamed for contaminated food

Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:04 PM

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beef, were actually 60-80 percent horse meat, the newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Friday, adding the company has withdrawn 180,000 lasagnas from sale for further testing.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.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm
Fewer people consider themselves 'extremely proud' to be American than decade ago