French food firm Fraisnor has gone into administration for an initial period of two months following a decline in sales since the horsemeat scandal broke.

Last month, horse DNA was detected in a single batch of meat delivered to Fraisnor by a supplier. The company produces private-label fresh lasagne for retailers.

“We were blameless, the batch was stamped beef but the loss of consumer confidence was immediate,” Fraisnor’s CEO, Alain Leemans, told just-food today.

Sales have dropped off 50% in France and 80% in Germany. Fraisnor has had to lay off some of its 110 staff.

“Entering administration provides us with some breathing space. Our cash flow is stretched and we have asked the state to help us out financially until we are paid the money due from our retailer customers. But to date, the request has fallen on deaf ears,” Leemans added.

“We remain hopeful the firm can be rescued but it will depend on regaining consumer trust.”