Nestle drawn in to horsemeat scandal

Nestle drawn in to horsemeat scandal

Nestle has recalled two beef ready meals on sale in Spain and Italy after tests returned positive for horse DNA.

The company is recalling its Buitoni beef ravioli and beef tortellini products on sale in the two markets because tests showed that the lines contained more than 1% horse DNA.

The world's largest food manufacturer is also delisting Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen meat product produced in France for catering businesses by Nestle Professional. Nestle did not specify in which markets the catering product had been distributed.

Nestle said it began testing its beef products after the recalls seen across Europe in the last month. The scandal has drawn in retailer own-brand beef products as well as beef ready meals produced by branded manufacturer Findus.

The contaminated beef supplied to Nestle originated from German firm HJ Schypke, a subcontractor of JBS Toledo. Nestle emphasised it has suspended deliveries of all finished products produced with beef supplied by the German meat supplier.

Responding to the news, Brazilian firm JBS moved to distance itself from the contamination. JBS emphasised that Schypke "is not in any way" part of the JBS. "In this specific case, from the outset of supply, all operational and logistical processes were carried out by the German supplier who delivered the product to the final client," JBS said in a statement.

"To add flexibility and a just-in-time service to some of its European clients and as a precaution against possible future legal, trade or sanitary barriers, JBS Toledo developed in conjunction with its customer base alternative lines of additional supply from European sources," JBS explained.

The meat group emphasised its European customers "actively participated" in the selection process of third-party suppliers. 

JBS has suspended contracts with Schypke and insisted it will not market meat that originates in Europe "until confidence is restored in the European beef supply chain". 

"No case of co-mingling of species has been identified in products produced in or at JBS factories. As a sign of confidence from its customer base, no supply contracts have been suspended or interrupted and products are being delivered as contracted from the company's own production facilities."

JBS will take legal measures to assure that no losses will be incurred as a consequence of this isolated occurrence, the company added.