“Following a thorough investigation, Findus UK can confirm that testing of its beef lasagne, produced by a third-party supplier and not by Findus, has revealed some product containing horse meat,” a spokesperson for Findus UK told just-food.
The group emphasised it is “committed to our customers and the quality of our products” and revealed that it had already coordinated the withdrawal of its beef lasagne in all sizes from all retailers.
The company added it is “confident” it has “fully resolved this supply chain issue”.
Comigel manufacturers ready-made meals on behalf of various third-parties in the UK, including Tesco and Aldi.
A spokesperson for Aldi told just-food it has removed its Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese from stores as a “precautionary measure” after it was alerted to a potential issue by Comigel.
“Comigel has flagged concerns that the products do not conform to specification. They have been withdrawn immediately so that Aldi can conduct its own investigations into the factory concerned. These investigations are continuing,” the spokesperson said. Aldi refused to be drawn on whether it was concerned the products contained horse meat.
Meanwhile Tesco has withdrawn its Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese, which is produced by Comigel at the same site as the Findus products.
“There is no evidence that our product has been contaminated and the meat used in the Findus product is not used in our product. However, we have decided to withdraw the product pending the results of our own tests,” Tesco said.
This fresh wave of product withdrawals comes as the horse meat scandal continues to spread. Horse DNA was detected in frozen beef burgers sold in the UK and Ireland through a number of retailers, including Tesco, Aldi, LIDL and The Co-operative Group. This is the first instance that horse meat has been found in other frozen beef products.
Comigel was unavailable for comment at time of press and it is unclear whether the French group manufactured products for third parties in continental Europe.