Dutch court rejects bid to halt mass recall of suspect meat

A Dutch court on Thursday rejected a bid by a meat wholesaler to quash an order recalling 50,000 tonnes of beef potentially contaminated with horsemeat.

"The court rejects the request for a preliminary injunction," on Dutch food authority NVWA's recall of meat handled by Willy Selten, said judge Reinier van Zutphen.

Businessman Selten, allegedly a key player in Europe's horsemeat scandal, had sought to overturn the NVWA's order to recall all meat sold by the company over the last two years.

The watchdog recalled 50,000 tonnes of beef suspected to have been contaminated with horse, asking hundreds of companies across Europe supplied by Selten to check their products.

Selten's company was on Tuesday declared bankrupt and placed under curatorship.

Jan Bult, representing the Dutch state, said NVWA investigations found "discrepancies in Selten's administration" as to where the company's meat had been sent and where it originated.