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France confirms first case of horsemeat disguised as beef

France on Tuesday became the second European country after Britain to confirm that frozen ready-to-eat meals supposedly made of beef contained horsemeat. Picard, a retailer which has hundreds of outlets across France, said tests had confirmed that horsemeat was present in two lots of frozen "beef" lasagne meals it removed from its shelves last week after the scandal broke.

Dutch supermarkets pull frozen food over horsemeat fears

Dutch supermarkets on Tuesday became the latest European shops to remove frozen meals from their shelves amid fears they may contain horsemeat disguised as beef. "PLUS supermarkets have withdrawn frozen lasagne of the Primafrost brand from shelves as a precaution," spokeswoman Debbie Huisman told AFP. She said the withdrawn products were not dangerous but could contain horsemeat without it being marked on the packaging. Boni supermarkets have withdrawn the same product, said Roel Vincken, spokesman for the Dutch Food and Goods Authority (NVWA).

Romania denies blame for Europe horsemeat scandal

France and Britain called Monday for the "criminals" who disguised horsemeat as beef to be tracked down, as Romania angrily denied it was to blame for the frozen food scandal spreading across Europe. The controversy was growing quickly in scope, with Britain's food minister Owen Paterson saying he believed warnings had been sent out to 16 different countries that might be affected, and Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney calling an EU meeting in Brussels to address the matter.

Romania denies blame for Europe horsemeat scandal

France and Britain called Monday for the "criminals" who disguised horsemeat as beef to be tracked down, as Romania angrily denied it was to blame for the frozen food scandal spreading across Europe. Britain's food minister Owen Paterson said an "extensive" criminal conspiracy could be behind the scandal and said he believed warnings had been sent out to 16 different countries that might be affected.

Romania denies blame for Europe horsemeat scandal

France and Britain called Monday for the "criminals" who disguised horsemeat as beef to be tracked down, as Romania angrily denied it was to blame for the frozen food scandal spreading across Europe. Britain's food minister Owen Paterson said an "extensive" criminal conspiracy could be behind the scandal and said he believed warnings had been sent out to 16 different countries that might be affected.

Romania says no irregularities seen in horsemeat scandal

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said "no irregularities" had been committed by companies in the country despite allegations that two abattoirs had duped European food companies by selling horsemeat as beef. "We have made verifications...There exists no violation of European rules and standards" by the two abattoirs, Ponta told a news conference. "The verifications made are not confirming any wrong labelling" of the meat by the two Romanian abattoirs, the Agriculture minister Daniel Constantin stressed.

Romania fears lasting damage to reputation over horsemeat

President Traian Basescu said Sunday he feared lasting damage to Romania's reputation if a Romanian meat supplier is found to be at fault over Europe's spiralling horsemeat scandal. Speaking after Romanian food industry officials pointed the finger of blame at the French meat importer at the heart of the controversy over horsemeat sold as beef, he said: "I hope it is not a case of false labelling on the Romanian side."

Six French retailers withdraw products over horsemeat fears

Six major French retailers have withdrawn foods provided by producers Findus and Comigel over fears they may contain horsemeat, the FCD retail association said on Sunday. Retailers Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Monoprix and Picard have pulled the prepared products, including pasta dishes with meat sauce, shepherd's pie and moussaka, from their shelves, the association said in a statement. It said the withdrawal was the result of a "labelling non-compliance in regards to the nature of the meat" in the products.

Legal threats fly in Europe horsemeat fraud scandal

A Europe-wide food fraud scandal over horsemeat sold as beef deepened Saturday as two companies at the centre of the row took legal action and governments said criminal activity was suspected. Frozen food giant Findus lodged a legal complaint in France after evidence showed the presence of horse in its beef lasagne was "not accidental", while a French meat-processing firm said it would sue its Romanian supplier.

French official traces lasagne horsemeat transactions

A French company obtained Romanian horsemeat masquerading as beef for frozen lasagne meals through a Cypriot dealer who had subcontracted the sale to a trader in The Netherlands, a French official said Saturday. Poujol, the holding company of meat-processing firm Spanghero, "acquired the frozen meat from a Cypriot trader who had subcontracted the order to a trader located in The Netherlands, who in turn was supplied by an abattoir ... in Romania," said Benoit Hamon, a junior economy minister.
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