– Europe’s law enforcement agency has been called in to help tackle a spreading crisis over mislabelled frozen meals containing horse meat as the scandal widens.
As Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Norway all took action over suspected horse meat, EU ministers also promised DNA food testing in an effort to restore consumer confidence.
European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said all 27 European Union states would be asked to carry out DNA tests on beef products to see if they contained horse meat.
The commission would also urge carrying out checks for an equine veterinary drug – phenylbutazone – that can be dangerous to humans in all establishments handling raw horse meat.
In the first month, there will be 4000 tests for the drug and another 2500 for horse meat, with initial results due on April 15th.
He said Europol would coordinate inquiries being carried out in countries affected by the crisis.
The Brussels meeting came a day after British police raided two meat plants and France reported cases of horse meat passed off as beef in frozen food.
Germany also announced a find of suspect lasagne, with similar cases in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Norway.
The scandal has engulfed Europe since Britain found horse meat last week in frozen lasagne sold under the Findus label, produced by French firm Comigel.
Comigel denied wrongdoing, saying a subsidiary bought the meat from another firm, Spanghero, which said it was supplied by two abattoirs in Romania.
Traders in Cyprus and the Netherlands were also reportedly involved – AFP