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Nestle removes beef pasta meals after finding horsemeat
From: Ghana | GNA          Published On: February 19, 2013, 01:27 GMT
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Nestle removes beef pasta meals after finding horsemeat

Nestle, the world's biggest food company, has removed beef pasta meals from shelves in Italy and Spain after tests revealed traces of horse DNA.

The Swiss-based firm has halted deliveries of products containing meat from a German supplier.

Nestle is the latest in a string of major food producers to find traces of horsemeat in beef meals.

A spokesman for the company said levels of horse DNA were very low but above 1%.

Last week the firm said its products did not contain horsemeat.

Nestle withdrew two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, in Italy and Spain.

Lasagnes a la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen product for catering businesses produced in France, will also be withdrawn.

A spokesman for the company told the BBC that Nestle had identified a problem with a supplier from Germany.

A statement on the Nestle website identifies the supplier as HJ Schypke, a sub-contractor of JBS Toledo, a major meat processing company.

Nestle would now be running tests on all its beef, the spokesman said.

The widening scandal over mislabelled horsemeat has affected at least 12 European countries.

Earlier on Monday, France partially lifted a production ban for meat processing firm Spanghero, one of the companies at the heart of the scandal.

The French government revoked its licence last week over suspicions that Spanghero knowingly sold horsemeat labelled as beef, an allegation the company rejects.

The French authorities said that unwitting workers should not be penalised.

As a result the firm will be allowed to produce minced meat, sausages and ready-to-eat meals, but not to stock frozen meat.

Meanwhile the UK and Germany have also both pledged to step up testing of frozen food products.

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