Horse meat scandal spreads to 16 countries

worldhorseinherePARIS – French ministers are to hold talks with key players in the meat industry as the horse meat scandal widens to up to 16 countries.

Seven French supermarket chains have withdrawn frozen beef meals made by Findus and Comigel.

The move followed the discovery that foods sold in Europe and the UK labelled as beef contained horse meat.

The scandal has raised questions about the complexity of the food industry’s supply chains across the EU.

It has already had an impact on distributors in the UK, France, Sweden, Ireland and Romania.

Food products in a further 11 EU countries may be affected, it is feared.

Food Minister Guillaume Garot said he wanted to ensure that all contentious products had been removed.

Romania is investigating claims one of its abattoirs is responsible.

He has already said a moratorium on EU meat imports, which has been called for, was not allowed under EU rules.

The controversy surrounding contamination of meat products has also affected firms in the Irish Republic and Poland.

Last month, Irish food inspectors announced they had found horse meat in some burgers stocked by a number of UK supermarket chains, including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl. (BBC)

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