The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has recalled around 50,000 tonnes of meat sold as beef across Europe that could potentially contain horsemeat.

In a statement today (10 April), the agency said it was recalling the meat because its exact source could not be verified and its safety “cannot be guaranteed”.

The NVWA said an examination of the records of two Dutch companies, Wiljo Import & Export and Willy Selten, found the origins of the meat was unclear. The two firms have around 130 customers in the Netherlands, and some 370 customers across European countries, including Germany, France and Spain.

The food authority said there was no evidence that the meat was a danger to public health and that the authorities in the countries affected had been alerted.

“The [EU] member states are responsible for any follow-up steps,” the agency said.

Dutch authorities began an investigation into the country’s meat industry in February after the horse meat saga broke across Europe.

EU member states have since launched tests for horse DNA in processed beef foods and to detect a medicinal drug used on horses called bute.

The news comes a day after UK retailer Asda announced the veterinary drug had been found in Asda Smart Price corned beef. The product had already been withdrawn from the shelves after horsemeat above the 1% threshhold was detected last month.