The world's largest food company has removed beef ravioli products from store shelves in Italy and Spain after tests revealed the presence of horse meat in what is the latest incident to shock the European Union.
Nestle, the Swiss-based food conglomerate, revealed tests from some of its beef ravioli products contained traces of horse DNA and stopped all shipments. The products are facilitated by German distributor HJ Schypke, which is sub-contracted by JBS Toledo a Belgium based meat processor, according to reports from the BBC.
The food giant is the latest to become embroiled in the horse meat scandal that has seen horse meant find its way into popular consumer food products across Europe. The company posted a statement on its website, detailing that it was a case of mislabeling and that the development poses no threat to public health.
"There is no food safety issue, but the mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect from us," Nestle said in a statement.
The company added that it would be "enhancing our existing comprehensive quality assurance program by adding new tests on beef for horse DNA prior to production in Europe."
This last development comes on the heels of another major food distributor revelation that horse meat was found in several of its frozen beef products.
The food company Findus revealed that it tested several of its frozen beef lasagna products, which are produced by French supplier Comigel, and found that nearly half that were tested contained a large percentage of horse meat.
"Findus withdrew the beef lasagna products after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the lasagna," the agency said in a statement. "We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk."
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) stated the mixed meat products were on sale in supermarkets in both countries, but the mystery meat is not just popping up in supermarkets. Fast food chains have also had to deal with their own allegations.
"We are demanding that food businesses conduct authenticity tests on all beef products, such as beef burgers, meatballs and lasagna, and provide the results to the FSAI," Catherine Brown, chief executive of the agency, read in a statement.