Dutch probe products for signs of horsemeat

11th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch food and consumer watchdog opened a probe Monday to see whether any beef products stocked on shelves contain horsemeat, an official said, as the frozen food scandal continues to spread across Europe.

"At this moment, we are investigating to see if products sold on the Dutch market wrongly contain horsemeat," Dutch Food and Goods Authority (NVWA) spokeswoman Esther Filon told AFP, without naming specific products.

The investigation began "on the basis of specific information and contacts with countries concerned" and will also focus on the "possible involvement of Dutch companies," Filon said.

The first results were expected within a week, she said.

Supermarket chains in Britain, France and Sweden have pulled millions of ready-made meals from store shelves after it emerged that frozen food companies had used horsemeat instead of beef.

Horsemeat is readily available on Dutch shelves and the country produced about 1,000 tonnes of equine flesh in 2011, according to the Dutch central statistics office.

© 2013 AFP

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