The European Anti-Fraud Office, (OLAF), has been working with national authorities in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy to track down end users in the food industry of adulterated butter that was sold illegally in the by Italian mafia gangs in the summer. Consumers have been reassured by EU experts who have analysed seized tainted butter samples, made of animal fat and synthetic materials, and have concluded the substance poses no direct health risks to people who have eaten it. Member States concerned about the illegal butter shipments have been fully briefed by OLAF representatives, which is to cooperate with their national authorities. OLAF believes it will take several more months to conclude the investigations encompassing 12 major companies in the EU.

By Monica Dobie, just-food.com correspondent