Nestle SA has withdrawn beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain after tests found horse DNA.
Horse meat has found its way into ready-to-eat meals sold across Europe in a meat mislabeling scandal that has shaken the food industry.
The world’s biggest food and drinks maker said in a statement that the level of horse DNA in its Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini meals was above the 1 per cent threshold that the U.K. Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence.
Nestle said the contaminated beef was supplied by H.J. Schypke, a German company, used by one of Nestle’s suppliers.
Nestle also withdrew from sale frozen meat sold as Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes to catering businesses in France.
Speaking to reporters at the company’s full-year results presentation last week, Nestle’s chief executive officer, Paul Bulcke, said reports that horse meat had found its way into food products in Europe had adversely affected the entire global food industry but his company had “very stringent and very disciplined policies with our suppliers” to prevent contaminants from entering its products.
“Also quality has a price,” Bulcke said. “So that is why we sometimes are a little bit more expensive, maybe, because these things, they cost money.”